Tag Archives: book 9

Challenging adventures in the Rift Skirmish

Since there are a few skirmish barter items I want from the Rift, I figured I’d go through a couple of test runs and capture them via Fraps and CStats to do some comparisons.  I wanted to not only compare the archer to the sage to see how they rank for DPS but also see how things had changed with the new tier 2 drop rates.

A few notes first concerning my soldiers as they are a bit different, which will skew the numbers a bit unfortunately.  My Archer (my Warden’s soldier) is only level 60 with mainly level 54 skills available.  And my Minstrel has a 63 Sage with primarily level 56 skills.

I ran it first on my Warden and as the following 2 videos will show I really didn’t have too many issues.  I was a bit rusty, but for the most part it was rather smooth.

Now for the encounters and the final battle things were a bit different.  I had to do some pretty significant morale surfing as the encounter bosses do hit pretty hard.  But in the end, they weren’t terribly touchy and I didn’t have to use my man heal at all.  Now the final battle I’m not really quite sure what I was thinking but I did a pretty horrible job in that fight, but oh well I still survived 🙂

I did parse this out in CStats and my Warden’s DPS varied from 120-220 with an average of 153 which is lower then some of my other parses, but the Tier 2 really cranks up all the mob mitigations.  Now my archer was parsing around 50 DPS which is about on par with the normal mobs and about half of the encounter/boss mobs.

So after this run, I then flipped over to my Minstrel and gave it a go on him.  The combination of being a Tier 2 with its increased mitigations and the Volume 3 resist change made a BIG difference on my Minstrel.  I had more problems on the smaller mobs then I did on the encounters, which is backwards from how my Warden was.  And in fact, I got a couple of back-to-back waves and did die once during this run.  I was also really concerned as you’ll see in the video (~3:20) where I barely hit the Furmurole in time to let Corunir continue but not quick enough to stop the next wave of adds from coming.  Luckily the waves that spawned ahead of me didn’t kill him, nor did they try to hunt me down – or that would’ve been really bad.  I’m thinking that might be one of the quirks of this skirmish, but I’m not sure 🙂

Now, the CStats data for my Minstrel was quite a bit more interesting then that of my Warden.  I averaged 171 DPS for the skirmish but had values ranging from 61 to 573!  Now this isn’t terribly surprising as my Minstrel is pretty reliant on big crits for Damage but I wasn’t expecting that big of a swing 😉  And the scary part of that was I only had 1 crit during that 573 DPS fight! 🙂  The low end of that scale was mainly fights where I had to drop War-speech, but I may need to switch tales back to the Armor tale and see how that helps as mainly it was the common damage that was hurting me.  My Sage actually varied quite a bit as well from 60-170 with an average of about 75.

Now in looking at the loot drops, I didn’t notice much change in the Campaign mark drops from when I ran this as a Tier 1 during the Epic quest line but I did notice more of everything else.  In total for the 2 runs I picked up 2 Veteran Guardian marks, 9 guardian marks, 5 bounty coins, 3 3rd Marks, and 3 campaign marks.  So I think I’ll continue to do Tier 2’s on my warden, but I might need to re-think doing them on my Minstrel as there are some nasty resists in there with some of the Lieutenants.

I’ll probably continue to tweak things as this is a fun and rather quick skirmish with rewards that I really want 🙂  Will keep you posted if I come up with any good plans for my Minnie…


My minstrel and his Boomstick

Ok, so it isn’t quite a lore appropriate name for my sage soldier – but I was reminiscing the other day with a couple of folks on Twitter about the movie Army of Darkness.  So in following some of the epic one-liners from that movie I decided to give my sage the nickname Boomstick.   Now she’s still not quite on level, but I’m pretty happy with her damage.  I ended up working on finishing off Book 9 (hit 65 last week) so I had a few skirmishes to run to round out the book.  I’m really looking forward to how the sage will grow once I get her on level and an Ultimate skill under her belt.  I actually think the scarier thought is how fun a similar sage will be on my warden 😉  As you’ll see from the following videos – my minstrel does tend to get in a bit of trouble.  I also captured a bunch of fights in CStats just to see how my minstrel parsed 😉  Tops was 600 for a crit loaded fight with Mazog (9000 damage in 15 seconds!!), but average was mid to high 300s.  Which for those of you keeping score, that’s about double my warden 😉  And Boomstick is right around 70-90 DPS, which isn’t too shabby considering her level – only 60, with no skill above tier 4 (level 50ish).

I captured a couple of fights, including the encounters and last boss fight for those who are interested.  Kufit the troll was a little dicey, but part of that is due to me being a lazy cook and not having any food on me…

As for the rest of the week, it was a bit slow in-game due to a bunch of other RL issues.  But I did manage to get in an SG run on my minstrel which was a little scary (I was 63 at the time) but quite fun.  I did win 2 MyLotro lotteries this past week and both of them on toons I actually play 😉 so that was a nice little bonus for me.  With those wins, I was able to upgrade the tiers on a few of my legacies for my Warden’s spear and also finally got a new crafting tool for my Minstrel that combines all 3 into one slot.  No this tool isn’t new, but I just never crafted myself sets of these 🙂  Like I said, my minstrel did hit 65 – so now I’m working to get him geared up.  I need to do some general item checking on both of my 65s to see what else I need, aside from the radiance gear.  That plus figuring out what traits to slot for both toons should keep me pretty busy.  Otherwise, I’ll be running skirmishes, SG, and SH as well as whatever raids/groups I find myself getting into.

LOTRO Volume 3 – Oath of the Rangers

So yes, I’m a little late on this one but it has been a long week for me.  Turbine released the first bit of news on the upcoming new content that continues the epic story.  Certainly there’s more info coming but it appears that one of my early predictions is already wrong as it doesn’t look like there’s any new area to explore.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things in the update but I’m a little worried that this seems a bit light.

By far, the most exciting thing is the Rift (Nurz Ghashu) skirmish that is the first attempt to revive older group/raid content.  I’m not only looking forward to getting back in there – but it does sound like an interesting story line as you’re called to help one of the rangers and his daughter from the depths and evils of the area.  Although I do find this to be a very similar storyline to Goldir and Amarthiel but we shall see how it plays out.  Since they’re doing this via the skirmish system, it does bring a faint glimmer of hope that we may see similar ideas (and raids) in places like Fornost, Garth Agarwen, and Helegrod.

The rest of the epic story line is centered around gathering up the scattered rangers and marshalling them South the help defend against the growing threat.  I’m curious about the story, but this does smack of the epilogue to Volume 2 Book 9 that sent us all over the land doing various small tasks.  Thank god I’m a warden, but these “travel the world” quests do get a little old.  Hopefully it is more then just talking quests as the war should be spread pretty far and deep across Middle-Earth by now that there should be some good opportunities for battles and/or skirmishes.

In addition to the Rift skirmish, and the epic story there are a few other items we’re teased with, starting with lots of new love for crafting!

  • New level 65 crafting recipes and updates to crafting abilities
  • Updated icons and stats for Jeweler recipes
  • New recipes and updates for Cooks!
  • New class items for Weaponsmiths and Woodworkers
  • New crop recipes for Artisian, Master, and Superior Farmers

I’m happy they’re doing something with farming and cooking, as it really only seems like there’s a couple worthwhile recipes/ingredients and the rest is for cosmetic purposes.

Also, a new set of four skirmishes that appear to be re-formated versions of the Dol Goldur existing skirmishes are opened up with a raid option.  I’m really not sure how this will work as the rewards will have to be tweaked quite a bit.  Meaning I”m not sure I really want to raid for skirmish marks – unless they expand on that system.  But it will be interesting to see, and might be a good way for people to get used to raiding.  The four skirmishes are:

  • Defeating a powerful Olog-Hai at the Necromancer’s gate
  • Disrupt the plans of “creatures of nightmare” who are setting a deadly trap before the Gate of the Ringwraith’s Lair
  • Defend Thangulhad from capture leveraging the catapults and defenses in place
  • Free captured elves from the dungeons of Dannenglor

So we’ll see what other information comes out as we get closer to launch but for now there is some good stuff but it seems a little light on content and more focused on upgrades, which for all we know could’ve slipped out of the Siege of Mirkwood expansion.  And certainly I’m a little worried that we’re not getting any new land-mass as there’s still a pretty big gap between Mirkwood and Rohan (assuming that’s the next large area).  In addition, we still haven’t seen much with regards to our characters progression – hopefully they’re just saving that for the upcoming dev diaries!

Here’s the link to the full notes on the start of Volume 3 – Oath of the rangers,and I’m sure there are lots of posts and such on the forums and other bloggers talking about this as well.

I have some other posts coming out this afternoon, but wanted to get my Volume 3 thoughts out before too much time passed.

LOTROCast’s interview with Orion

If you aren’t subscribed to the LOTROCast podcast, I highly recommend it and especially for this episode as they have a very long and in-depth conversation with Orion.  Now certainly there are some questions Orion can’t answer but there’s quite a bit of info in there that is VERY exciting.  Not all of it is focused on LOTRO but Turbine and his background as well.  I won’t spoil my favorite part of the interview – but lets just say it relates to the Volume 3 release.

The other big piece for me is that Orion’s favorite class to play is a Warden!

Make sure you check it out over on LOTROCast.com.

Book 9 video (spoiler)

Some cool moments in this skirmish, this is just the final battle – I’m just going to post the link and not the embedded video such that I don’t spoil things for those who don’t want it spoiled.

Book 9 Skirmish

Book 9, what a Journey

I’m not going to spoil anything for those that haven’t done the new Book 9 of Volume 2 – but if you’re in your 60s, I highly recommend it.  By far, this has been my favorite book in all of LOTRO, and there’s enough content in it to span at least 2 books (18 chapters in all) compared to some of the others.  The general premise of the book is that you make your way across Mirkwood trying to learn about the threat to Lorien and figure out a way to combat it.  You make new friends and fight alongside familiar allies, and I think this helps make this book feel more epic.  With all the various dwarves, elves, and others involved you really get the feeling that this task is something worthy of someone who’s defeated the watcher, a balrog, etc.

I ended up running through the book solo, but it didn’t feel like the other solo books since they leveraged the skirmish system.  Other solo books all felt quite small in the general impact you had in the over-all story, but with the skirmishes they can provide settings that wouldn’t normally work and battles that you wouldn’t expect to survive alone.  There weren’t lots of back and forth conversation quests or other busy work that seems petty at times, everything built up and carried through to the completion of our mission.  I also read EVERY quest in the book, and actually I’ve read most of the quest text while out in Mirkwood – I actually care about what’s going on.  Maybe I’ve just been grinding too long through Lorien and Moria, but the stories in Mirkwood really have captured my interest.  Even though I’ve hit 65, I will travel to all the hubs and make sure to do all the quests.

I can only hope they continue this kind of storytelling as we move forward as for the first time in while I can honestly say that I look forward to running my alts through this book!

I’m just now working through the Epilogue to Book 9 which includes some classic moments that did make me laugh:

  • Hundi the dwarf asking where your first legendary item is
  • Melmar and Thalfi joking about walking to the bottom of the well and not falling (I’m not that patient)
  • Tulk wondering what ever happened to those talon’s we collected for him way back when
  • And Rink not knowing how to count or proving that all dwarves exaggerate 😉

And finally, a shot of me showing off to all the dwarves we’ve fought with throughout Moria and Mirkwood.


Edit – as a follow up to a tweet from BlueKae, if you do care about the story I would suggest doing the rest of Volume 2 before book 9.

Weekend of unraveling Mirkwood

So I didn’t get in as much game time as I had wanted to this weekend.  Combination of me being tired and some kin issues took away from my plans to hit 65 and run some of the new instances.  I just hit 64 on my Warden and actually dusted off my Minstrel for a bit of instance fun in Moria.

My warden is about half-way through Mirkwood (at least I just started at the middle quest hub according to the geography) and has been running a fair number of skirmishes.  I’m really enjoying them and usually run the tier 2’s, but I did attempt a Tier 3 yesterday which was quite tricky.  I ended up dying once when I was a little over-zealous and pulled 2 of the areas, which each had a lieutenant.  Once I realized that was not a smart thing, it was pretty smooth – certainly much harder and I had to pace myself more but quite doable.  Sadly I didn’t Fraps it, as today, I got completely and totally spanked in a tier 3.  I don’t think my soldier is good enough to do it as I just can’t keep up with the DPS and heals all on my own.  I’m getting hit constantly for 500ish damage and just can’t out-heal that much damage.  Normal mobs have ~6K morale (as opposed to the ~4K in Mirkwood for same level), signatures have ~12K and elites have 30K – all about 50% higher then their normal counterparts.

For Mirkwood, I’m mostly enjoying it and really do like the epic storyline so far (I’m only through book 6).  However, I am a little frustrated as there’s a TON of repeat quests.  And by this I mean – go here and kill 10 mobs, then come back and I’ll send you there to go kill more looking for a certain drop, and finally go back again to kill their leader.  Now granted, the areas are all pretty close and I do like the stories so I’m not as upset about this as other areas (north downs) but there are some spots that I think could’ve been combined.  I would really like them to tier the quests as you’re doing them – either like deeds, or like the skirmish starting quest worked where  we had to collect 10 war orders, and then the quest updated to get the target list.  So after you kill 10 mobs, you get a quest pop-up to go find this special drop, and then finally go kill the boss or something like that.  Basically weave the story together closer and not force us to always go back to town.  Granted, my bags are pretty full so I am in camp quite often, so I may be nit-picking here a bit 🙂

I did hop on my Minstrel to run the Halls of Crafting (HoC) instance with some friends of mine – and to my surprise they wanted me to trait for damage.  For those of you who haven’t done the HoC there are lots of mobs and it can get pretty intense.  It is one of my favorite instances to run on my warden as I can pull the whole room and tank them all quite effectively.  Plus all DPS classes can go pretty much full out and I rarely have agro issues.  So I was excited to run it as an AoE minnie and not have to worry about healing.  It was an absolute blast, we ripped through it with zero issues and my only sadness about it was that I didn’t Fraps any of it.  With all the fun I had in that instance, I decided to get my minnie into skirmishes and check them out with him running in full glowy-hand mode.  I also chose a sage as my soldier to see if I could maximize my DPS 🙂

For soldiers my favorites so far are the protector, sage, and archer.  I totally forgot about the “Ultimate” skills available from the skirmish captain until reading OJellyBelly’s comment on the sage, so there will most likely be some things that I’ll need to add.  It seems like the sage does more damage then the archer, but I haven’t done much to really compare the two.

I uploaded a couple more videos (ok a few, hit the 10 minute cap) today so check them out on YouTube.  I’m still trying to figure out a good process as I keep on hitting little weird quirks, but I’m slowly working out the kinks on it.  And I have to suggest if you don’t have it already, getting the Gears extension for your browser allows for batched file uploads to YouTube 🙂

Any requests ya’ll would like to see?

Thievery & Mischief Skirmish:

Siege of Gondomon


First day in Mirkwood

So I didn’t get to play as much as I’d like today, but the day is still young.  However, I wanted to get out a post and an un-edited video for everyone while it was fresh.

My first few moments in game were a little more hectic then I wanted, but I was able to get some things accomplished on my warden and captain.  I got my UI all squared away, which did take a couple of re-loads per toon to get them all squared away but I’m pretty happy with it for now.  Hopefully there will be a rush of updates and my previous skin will become available again with all the new Mirkwood stuff.  I then took both of them to their respective crafting guilds to get those recipes such that I can craft the items as I go.  After that, I pretty much focused on my warden getting her set up with skirmishes and starting on the Book 9 quests.  It did take me a bit to get my legendaries squared away, but that was more me trying to figure out what I wanted to spend points in.  I still have to wrap up Book 8, but I at least know how that story ends as I have finished it on my captain 🙂  I’m working to get to at least 9.4 as that will open up the other skirmishes which are quite enjoyable and happen to have the marks needed for the ranger mask.

Overall thoughts:

  • launch was pretty darn smooth, laggy in 21st and a bit in the Mirkwood starter area but that’s about it
    • If you have lag issues, I would suggest NOT going to a forge-master as those areas are PACKED!!
  • Mirkwood starter area a bit tricky with mob competition – but that was also handy as there are some really ugly spots in there.
  • Warden combat feels great, although I am rather rusty as you’ll see from my video.
  • I keep on trying to use the horse masters while mounted – figures that’s the one thing you CAN’T do while mounted

I’m also putting up a video of me running the Stand at Amon Sul (Weathertop) skirmish on the 2nd tier of difficulty.  It was a little dicey in one spot when I had an encounter, lieutenant, and wave all hit at the same time – and you’ll see me blow all my cool-downs and pots.  But otherwise a good pace for my first real in-game action in a while.  This will be really nice for me in that I can crank up the difficulty if I want a challenge or to test myself, but can also tone it down when I’m more in the mood to cruise through.  The video itself is pretty big (20 minutes to clear the instance and there really isn’t any down time) but I did speed it up by 50%.  I’m still working on video making, so please any suggestions?

And I did decide to tweak my theme a bit for a darker feel to tie in more with Mirkwood – plus I wanted a bigger custom image as my header.

My guest podcast appearance

So I had a blast chatting with the LOTRO Reporter folks last week, their latest episode (episode 15)  is posted on their website. We covered a bunch of different topics but a good bit on Wardens and how I got started with them, Legendary Item legacy pool discussion, beta in general, and also my experiences in Beta.  Certainly if you’re not listening to their podcast I definitely recommend it, as they always have lots of good information.  Plus it is a good distraction as you wait for the servers to come up for Mirkwood!

Also, they’re the founders of the Cor Pethroni kinship over on Brandywine which is a kin for anyone who wants to hang out with some of the podcasters and bloggers.  I’ve got a couple toons over there and it is a fun group to run with.

Good post on the new stat changes

I knew some of the information but couldn’t figure out a way to explain it – SneakyHobbits does a really good job of breaking it down.  Check it out over here.