Tag Archives: champions

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.

    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.

    ScreenShot00457 ScreenShot00458

    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.

    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!

    I’ve Crossed Over to the Dark Side


    No, I’m not playing WoW (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I realized as I’ve had no motivation to play my Runekeeper that I’m really just more into melee classes.  After all the ribbing and trashing I’ve given Champions I figured I should give them a fair shake and actually play the class.  Plus I haven’t been through the starter zones in a while so I figured it would be good to check them out again since all the revamps.  If I had known we were so close to the F2P launch I might have waited until then, but oh well I’m too hooked now to go back.

    Below is a shot of me warming up in Trestlebridge in my new level 18 heavy armor.  As an aside, I don’t remember it looking as good when I leveled my Captain but maybe it just shows that I prefer looking at females.

    Why doesn't the Grocer have Marshmallows?

    I’ve made it pretty much through all the Bree-land content which by far is still my personal favorite starter area.  The zone certainly does flow much better and they’ve eliminated some of the more annoying random out-lying quests.  For instance, tweaking the quest outside of Staddle such that you kill bears for the trader’s item and not neekers is MUCH better.  I always hated that quest as it just didn’t seem to work very well in the general flow, but there were a number of other similar quests that were tweaked as well.  The Barrow Downs stuff seemed to work much better as you didn’t have to run around to find the quest-givers not to mention that you don’t have to run back to Bree to turn-in.  The quest givers in general are all in much better locations and definitely vector MUCH better then they used to.  I found myself wondering at various times when I would go to a particular zone, and sure enough in a few quests I would get sent that way.  Even with the changes, my general approach to Bree really hasn’t changed.  I go through and do every quest there except for the Old Forest – not because I don’t like the area, as it is one of my favorites, it just takes a while to do and overlaps level wise with some of the other areas.  I like the new change to the “go see so and so somewhere far off quests” as they now also offer a return port to where you started from.  This allows you to go to that far off place, grab one quest there as a place-holder such that you know what level range that area is.  I know there are lots of resources out there (like MMorsel’s Level Chart), but having it in your quest log is a pretty good reminder.  The re-working of the quest lines to remove fellowship quests is nice while you’re playing like I am but I’ll admit I’m not sure it is good to have the Great Barrows as the only fellowship quest.

    As of now, I’m about mid-way through 21 and am probably going to do some of the Trestlebridge quests as those are level 21s while the Epic line and Forsaken Inn quests are level 22.  So I probably will be bouncing back and forth but since I’m mapped in Bree (where you need to go to train) I think it won’t be too bad.  I’m probably going to continue to proceed through the Lone Lands and North Downs in this fashion such that I can maximize the experience and not get burnt out in either zone.  I’ll be curious to see how far into the 30s this will get me as I know there are some tough level pockets in there.  However, with the Champ being pretty DPS heavy, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do some of the higher level quests such that I can jump up to a zone even if I’m not quite at the right level.  One thing I’m haven’t done on this toon is crafting as I just wanted to focus on actually playing the class.  But maybe I’ll change my mind and pick up the Armsman profession (that would be the logical thing to do) or possibly a Scholar (but that sounds painful).  Having high-level alts I can pretty easily purchase mats off the AH so it wouldn’t be nearly as painful of a grind, but we shall see.

    As for Champion class, I have to admit I’m really enjoying it.  Granted, in the teens all classes are fun to play but I think the Champ better fits what I enjoy.  I imagine that I’ll be playing my Champ similar to my Warden in that I try to grab as much as I can and pray I can survive 🙂  That certainly does get me into a bit of trouble as Champs are a tad squishy, especially in medium armor, without much in the way of oh-crap buttons.  I expect on-average the Champ will be faster in this methodology then the Warden, but I will have higher repair bills (and more travel time) as I will die often I’m sure.  I have no idea when I died first, but I have quite a few times which hasn’t been a big deal as I usually out level my gear before I need to repair it.  For the most part, I’ve been focusing on trying to build Fervour up before AoE’ing as that way I can get my self-heal off if I need to.  I not using the skill that adds 3 Pips up front as I’m thinking it is better to save that for when I need it, but maybe that’s a bad idea.  Mostly I’ve been running in Fervour stance, but I’m starting to play more in Ardour as it seems to be more survivable for my style.  I’ve mainly been dual-wielding as I’ve always liked the look of that fighting style, plus I do have my Captain if I feel the need to wield a big stick 😉  After hitting 20, I’ve noticed it is a bit easier as I can better pull with the bow as opposed to body pulling everything since you can’t control adds nearly as well that way.  This is my first DPS class I’ve played in an MMO so I’ll be curious to see how I enjoy it, and if my Warden experience is any indication (that was my first tank) I may have opened up a whole new can of alt-aholic worms 🙂

    I wasn’t sure how I’d like the class, so I haven’t yet set up my Strategic Commander for it but once I get that rolling I’m sure I’ll have a much better rotation going and use more of my skills.  I notice I have a hard time using everything on my tool-bar as I really struggle finding things unless I get used to where they are.  For those who are curious, the Strategic Commander is a left-handed mouse that has programmable buttons on it.  I don’t use it for macros (although it can) I just use it as a more convenient way to use skills and movement controls.

    As for gear, I did craft myself a set of Heavy Armor that I could wear when I hit 20, and I have another in my vault for when I hit 22 as I’ve heard (and can appreciate) that gear makes a pretty big difference for a Champ and especially with my kamikaze attitude.  I haven’t been worried about trying to crit on the armor, but I’m sure when I get into my 40s and 50s I will start to care.  Around that same time is when I’ll start out-fitting her with better jewelry and cloaks as I have Guilded SMs in those professions.  I’ll probably start to stock-pile some of the guild items such that I can have some critted sets all ready to go.  I don’t have a weaponsmith (or a woodworker) but I’m not too terribly worried about it quite yet as I’ve been able to find some reasonable things off the AH.  And I do know a few so when I get higher I can bug them for stuff.  I haven’t really decided what weapons I’m going to shoot for long term but I really like axes and I’m thinking a main hand spear with an axe off-hand would be cool, but perhaps sword and axe is the best combo.  I know I do need to pick up a horn and a rune, I just haven’t had a chance to find one on the AH or have someone make me one.

    I’m pretty sure I’m going to bring this character up to the level cap, so you’ll be hearing a bit more about Champions as I progress, and certainly feel free to toss out pointers!  I did pick up some good tips from Merric in this post and discussion but I know I have lots to learn.  And don’t worry, I’m not shelving my other 65s I just haven’t had as much night-time availability for un-interrupted group play and there’s only so many dailies and skirmishes I can do, even though my Captain does still need quite a bit of work…

    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.