Tag Archives: guardians

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!

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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Podcast re-cap and updates


The Casual Stroll to Mordor folks have been running a series of class specific round-tables, the first of which being for the Minstrels.  All sorts of good information as they had a good mix of play-styles represented.  So if you’re interested in learning about the class or how to better group with Minstrels it is a great listen.

The second of the classes they’ve covered is the Warden and I had a blast as one of the participants on that episode.  It hasn’t been released, but as soon as it is I will put up the link.  I will admit, in hindsight I might’ve been a tad on the confident (or cocky) side but as a tank I do think you need to have a bit of that mentality.  Again we did have a good mix of playstyles like the Minstrel roundtable so that made for some great discussions.

Both of these round-tables have also been broadcast live on the LOTRO Network (just like the LOTRO Reporter) with a chat room so even if you’re not invited to chat you can still chime in and ask questions or provide additional information.  Plus the chatrooms usually are pretty fun environments 🙂  CStM has usually been posting before they record if they’re doing it live and the LOTRO Reporter folks usually record late Wednesday nights for those of us not on the West coast and announce the start via Twitter.

I also wanted to mention the Through the Palantir folks as they just released the long awaited Moors episode.  I will admit it is a bit of a long episode, but it is SO worth it.  If you have any desire to learn about the Moors or if you’re looking to brush up on it (like me) I highly recommend the episode as they go through the mechanics, landscape, classes, and much more.

And finally there’s another new podcast out there for your listening pleasure.  Sparthir from the LOTRO World blog site has posted his first episode which is available from the site and also from iTunes.  I really do enjoy having multiple casts as everyone has slightly different takes on the game and covers different topics.

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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.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-12-57-17

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.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-15-26-03

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.

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 😉