Tag Archives: Enedwaith

Today’s update to Bullroarer


As I quoted yesterday, Sapience indicated that some of the items in the store have been tweaked.  Now granted, I will admit I may be a build or two behind on some of these but I did want to talk about a couple of them as there was a new patch up today.  However, nothing earth shattering on the patch with only a few notes in total.

First up, I’m happy that they did add in a helm to the Annuminas Heavy Armor set.  I’m not super excited about the look, but it is nice to have another option including the cloak to get the full 6/6 bonus which this set really needs to be comparable.  I’ve updated my spreadsheet but am really struggling with Google Docs so I’ll probably wait until launch and post a final version.  But certainly take a look below for the stats and looks of it.

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I do think the armor set costs might have been dropped a bit (or maybe not as these match this post on the forums) as the Annuminas pieces only need 1 Annuminas mark and 3 of the level 65 special marks with the Helegrod items being 2 and 5 respectively.  However, the pieces are pricy on the normal marks at 1,896 for the Annuminas pieces and 2,370 for the Helegrod pieces.  Considering I can get a few hundred marks per normal single person skirmish it is looking like a piece or so per run through the appropriate instance.  Which when you compare it to normally getting armor pieces this is a MUCH quicker pace as previously you had to not only complete the instance but get lucky on roles and most groups only allow one piece per run per person.

I already talked about the reputation mounts, but you can buy the normal initial mounts for 695 points which I think is a nice option as I know many folks sometimes struggle to save up enough gold for that purchase.

I didn’t notice any real changes on the stat tomes but the Virtue tomes have been changed to all be a constant cost as opposed to a sliding scale.  In total, to max out a virtue from the store it costs the same as it did previously, but now each rank is 295 points versus a small amount for that first rank.  I know I will be topping off a few levels on my toons so this does make it a tad more expensive but I think it makes sense.

I’m still a bit on the fence with the Morale pots as they’re now 300 points for a stack of 10.  These potions stack with the normal potions and with the duration of 20 seconds combined with a 20 second cooldown you can essentially boost your ICMR (or ICPR) by 3600 or 60 points per second.  I can see these during tough boss fights and in all honesty I’m still not sure these are expensive enough.  These potions will essentially allow you to power through a tough transition or stabilize the group for a couple of minutes.  I do think this will make some fight mechanics much easier for certain groups and the potions could become requirements for certain raiding groups.  I guess I’m seeing these as a “crutch” that could be used for raiders in a similar manner to how the various hope quest turn-ins were used back in the day.  I think requiring groups to have those pots purchased is a bad thing, but I’m on the fence as I do like the idea of providing a not totally game breaking crutch to get groups over the hump in certain areas.  As long as Turbine continues to put out challenging fights like BG, and it sounds like the instance revamp will be even more challenging, these could really help folks speed up the learning curve.  After a run or two, I would imagine these pots wouldn’t be as needed until a new instance was attempted.  Oh, and I’m not even going to touch the moors implications as that will just make my head hurt 🙂  However, I don’t see these as a long term issue but a short term emergency tool.

Other than that, the store seems MUCH faster and responsive and they’ve cleaned things up quite a bit, but granted it could be that I just hopped on during a quiet time 🙂

I am starting to formulate my plan for what I’m going to be using the store for and will have a post on that soon.

Developer Diary – Vault Changes


I’ll keep this quick as I just wanted to make a couple comments on the latest Dev Diary on the new Vault. I really like the new vault and since I will most likely be buying more slots it will become much more useful.  With all the icons, it can get hard to find things sometimes so the filters really do help.

However the part that I really wanted to point out was the discussion on the beta feedback.  This new vault caused a HUGE uproar and I was quite impressed by how Turbine not only responded but let the players vent.  This to me is the main reason why there are NDA’s as if that news had hit live, people would’ve gone even more ballistic and many would have not come back or at least the damage would have been done before Turbine had a chance to flesh out the system.  In addition (I know this will come off as me being a fan-boi) but Turbine does seem to be more than willing to let people disagree with them and that the main reason they shut down threads is do to flaming.  They didn’t completely change their course but I think their compromise shown below is a very good attempt to satisfy everyone.

It will take a bit to get used to the new vault, but overall it will be a more flexible and scalable system.

Recent Developer Diaries


Turbine has continued to pump out Dev diaries and I’m a bit behind I’ll admit.  But since the NDA has been lifted, I think much of this information is out there but it is always good to see how the Devs see things and get a little more insight on their process.

First up from last week was the Volume 3 Book 2 Quest Line diary talking about that portion of the epic line.  I specifically didn’t do these quests on Bullroarer as I wanted to save them for live.  I’m pretty excited about this portion of the story as not only do we get to follow the rangers path but also get to learn more about their stories.  And of course, there’s the Ranger Session play that’s always enjoyable 🙂  The new technology to show and hide people based on your quest log sounds really cool and I’d love for them to roll that out everywhere as it is a bit lore-breaking to see folks in the wrong areas.  The other big news item in this diary is the announcement that we’ll be able to re-play all the various session plays as much as we want.  There are some really fun ones, so I quite like this idea for quick play-sessions.

The other diary was today’s release of the Wardrobe System, which for me is one of my favorite features of the F2P roll-out.  I probably have a few bags on all my toons that are purely cosmetic and many are storing the same items.  This will not only allow for more storage of useful items but another way to share items between characters.  I’m glad they walked through the usage of the system as I’ll admit it took me a bit to figure it out – putting items in is easy as you just drag the item and it puts a copy into the wardrobe.  You can then feel free to delete the one in your inventory if you want.  To equip though, you need to drag the item directly to the slot on your character panel and not to your inventory.  It is also nice that you can store various color variations using one slot and just use a pull-down to select which color as opposed to each color taking up a slot.  And finally, the requirements to wear the cosmetic items have been loosened such that you don’t need the level or reputation to wear them but you will be limited to armor types.  For instance, you won’t be able to deck your Minstrel out in heavy armor but your Captain will be able to cosmetically equip your Champion’s Rift Set.

Updated: LOTRO Free to Play Launch Date Announced


So we finally have a date!!  Turbine has announced September 10th, 2010 as the launch date for the Free to Play system.  Now I’m assuming this means we’re also getting Enedwaith but it isn’t explicitly stated just that they expanding the epic story line.

In addition, there’s a pre-release for current and previous subscribers starting September 8th.  This post also confirms that Enedwaith is part of the release.  I like pre-releases as it should help on server loads quite a bit.

I’m glad it is happening this quick, but once again Turbine has picked a launch date around my vacation when I’ll be spending time with my family but certainly I’m not going to complain with a earlier launch date then what I expected.  Now I just have to start planning out what to get in the store when it launches 🙂

New Treasure Category on the Classic Skirmish Vendors


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

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

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

Annuminas

Mirhigil – Necklace – intriguing for a melee class

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Golden Spear-Head – Pocket  – Attack and Resist boosts

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

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Silver-Strand Necklace – another decent melee class item

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

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Ring of Fulfillment – Looks nifty for a moors MinstrelScreenShot00435

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

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

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

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Eregion

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

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Tattered Bookmark – Interesting pocket with Fate and Resists.

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Beaded Gemstone Bracelet – Nice tank bracelet but lacking ICPR.

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

Helegrod

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beta Event and Instance Join


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Developer Diary – Instances Part 4 – Helegrod


For me this was the most highly anticipated part of the instance scaling diaries to date as not only do I love Helegrod but I’m curious to see what they have planned for the space.  There’s a lot of good information in the Diary so check out the latest from JWBarry.

To start off, three of the wings will be 12-man spaces with the Thorog wing being a full 24-man raid.  There are no locks at all, but before being able to tackle Thorog you must complete the other three wings at least once.  So essentially, clear the first 3 and you can farm Thorog to your hearts content.

JWBarry breaks up the diary just like the raid so I’ll cover each wing separately.  Before I dive in too far, I must admit that I can’t wait to run this on my Warden!!!

The Spider wing was a pretty fun wing to begin with but they did shorten up the trash a bit.  They also added a new mob type the Spider-singer that buffs all the nearby spiders to make them more challenging.  Also in order to proceed you need to burn holes through the webs, which does tend to anger a fair number of spiders such that it isn’t just a matter of running through and killing stuff.  The Breosal mini-boss fight was tweaked such that there are more adds at the start and more come when Breosal runs away after the morale trigger.  It sounds as though the normal mode of the final boss fight is pretty much un-changed but the challenge mode sounds quite fun.  Essentially at the last wave of the Silkspinners you need to keep them alive while burning 4 cocoons, the last of which spawns Zaudru.  So you need to finish off all five in order to survive this encounter which sounds rather rough as just Zaudru alone is pretty darn challenging.

The Drake Wing was changed quite a bit to incorporate more mob diversity and better visual intrigue.  Also following what they’ve done in other instances, the lever puzzle has been tweaked to provide more feedback and better information on what needs to be done.  The final boss fight is now 3 stages as opposed to 2 with each having different levels of vulnerabilities and invulnerabilities on the Angmarim, worms, and drakes.  The challenge mode sounds INSANE as you need to pop ALL the eggs in the room to complete.  In the current room I’d say there are probably 50 some odd eggs, but I’m not sure how many will be in the new area.  Each egg popped spawns a handful of worms so this will be an AoE intensive fight for sure, Champs and Wardens get ready for some fun!

I have to agree that the Giant Wing was my least favorite portion of the raid as it just seemed to drag on forever with no real challenge.  I’m very happy about the new mobs and the addition of the min-boss fight.  If JWBarry’s pumped up about it I can’t wait to see it!  As for the main boss fight, it sounds interesting but I will admit I’m a bit worried about the challenge mode mechanics as it sounds like knockbacks could cause you to lose challenge mode.  It does require you to pay more attention which is a good thing, I’m just worried about lag causing you to be in the wrong place even though you think you’re good.

The Dragon Wing still has the three main areas, the drums, Drugoth, and Thorog.  The drums section which includes Coldbear pretty much was untouched and I certainly agree that if you can’t make it through the drums you’re in for a world of hurt.  I love the changes to Drugoth as it was a super easy portion of the raid.  Having the mirror images as you fight similar to Mordirith sounds not only challenging but a lot of fun.  Basically he will form copies at various morale thresholds but it wasn’t clear if they were 1 morale “spirits” like Mordirth or full up copies that you need to burn down.  I’m sad to see the Thorog flying mechanic gone but certainly if it was causing issues I’ll trust the team.  Removing the flying mechanic basically meant they had to re-work the entire fight.  Included in the new version are some of his old tricks plus some new things that JWBarry is saving for us to find.  Challenge mode is being designed to be the most difficult encounter in the game which is intriguing.  There are some pretty tricky parts in BG so I’ll be curious to see what else they come up with.  And I’m encouraged that they are conscious of folks not liking arbitrary or luck as key elements of fights.  Making this the hardest fight seems to be in-line with the recent changes to the radiance gear as the new Helegrod sets are pretty nice!  For those of you who haven’t seen the area or the original version of this fight check out my post on a recent adventure in Helegrod.

Overall it sounds like a very fun raid and I like the way they’re broken things up.  There are some areas of concern as I can imagine folks farming Thorog repeatedly for marks and the armor pieces.  Granted, it does require 24 people to complete so that is a bit more challenging but if you have that number ready I can see folks going for a couple runs at a time.  I’m also not sure about the knockback portion of the Giant Wing but will have to see how that plays out.  If definitely is good to see they are listening to the community and incorporating aspects of fights that we enjoy and not relying on things we don’t.  I was encouraged to see JWBarry talk about the Rift and the reasons why it hasn’t been tackled yet.  From what we’ve seen so far, that does sound like a big task but I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the Rift.  I’m also quite happy that he acknowledges that the Balrog fight is quite broken and will require work 😉

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