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 🙂
Posted in Captain, Champion, LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged BG, Captain, champions, crafting, End-game, Equipment, Gear, group, guardians, hard-mode, LOTRO, Minstral, Mirkwood, moors, radiance, raid, Warden
No surprise here, I have some thoughts on this one 🙂 And I strongly recommend all you Wardens to post your thoughts as well. I’m going to just copy/paste what I have here into the thread on the live forums.
Give three examples of changes or improvements you would make to improve the Warden class (e.g. skills and abilities). Please limit your responses to 3 brief examples. Wardens only please!
1. Lower the power costs of the gambit builders themselves, we have lots of ways to drop the gambit costs but they don’t apply to the builders which are the big problems.
2. Another ranged attack would really help us fulfill a secondary ranged DPS role.
3. Some way to recover threat after a death. Something on a long cool-down that pops us back to our pre-death level, or even pre-death level minus some percentage.
If you could create one new legacy to add to the Warden’s Legendary Item pool, what would it be? Please specify whether you feel it should be a Pool A or Pool B legacy.
Javelin Pool A – Exaultation of Battle +Healing/Leach
Thinking about set bonuses, what bonuses do you find most useful? Least useful? Please give 2 examples of each and please specify which set you are referring to.
1. Dance of war threat transfer increase from the Moria set
2. –50% Power cost for Resolution from the Rift set
1. Hampering Javelin duration on the Moors set as the level 50 set has a better bonus then the 58 set 😦
2. 10% greater threat on the Warden’s taunt as this is such a small part of our overall threat from the Helegrod set.
I didn’t post this as I think it might be a tad OP – but I’d love an Onslaught Increased Targets legacy, AOE DPS and interrupts would be a blast!
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged End-game, Equipment, Gambits, Gear, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, threat, Warden
It seems like many of the highly hyped games are producing very high quality cinematic trailers to help get people excited for their upcoming releases. For the most part, I do enjoy these trailers but I’m starting to wonder what they really tell us about the games themselves and are they doing more harm then good. It seems like many of these trailers are given lots of room to expand on what is possible in the game such that they look cooler and tell a better story. Even from a purely graphical nature these trailers are incredibly misleading as the games never look as good as what they can show cinematically.
The trailer that touched this off for me was the recent DC Universe Online trailer from Comic-Con (which is very cool btw), but I see Star Wars the Old Republic as one of the biggest culprits. I’m sure there are others doing this exact same thing, but SWTOR sticks out for me mainly because of the effect these trailers have had on my interest for the game. I know many like myself were absolutely floored when the Deceived trailer hit and then were even more in awe with the recent Hope trailer. In case you haven’t seen them, check them out here:
Some REALLY cool stuff and they get me really excited about this game. But there are quite a few things that you know just aren’t or can’t happen in a game, for instance, using your hands to block a light-saber. Also, all along we’ve been hearing the SWTOR is all about Story and will be a completely different game-play style from all other MMOs without the traditional group dynamics, which these trailers reinforce. But, for all they’ve shown in the trailers it really doesn’t tell us much about the actual game.
That is until they released the Multiplayer Demo @ E3 that shows us actual gameplay and some of the group dynamics. This was possibly the most disappointing video I’ve seen in a long time as not only did it look nothing like the trailers (not that I expected it to) but the gameplay is exactly like any other MMO with the traditional tank, healer, and DPS roles. Now when I look back at the trailers, I don’t even connect them with SWTOR I just see them as some cool Star Wars videos because they are so far removed from what the game actually looks and plays like. With all the money spent on these trailers by the game companies, couldn’t there be a balance somewhere to put some of that into the game as opposed to something which is arguably un-related?
Maybe the core of my real question is can too much hype be a bad thing? It seemed to really hurt a number of titles like Vanguard, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online to name a few and all these new cool trailers are just amping up the expectations. With such high expectations, the level of potential disappointment continues to grow such that for many there’s no way players will be able to enjoy the game as they’ll keep wishing it was more like the trailer they saw.
For me, I have pretty much stopped following SWTOR other then reading headlines from various bloggers, and at this point I”m not even sure I will play it. The one piece that might change my mind is the pricing model – if it is a traditional MMO subscription I’m pretty confident that I won’t play it. But if they do some sort of hybrid model or something different then I might be more willing to check it out.
To wrap up, is it better to show a trailer along the lines of what Turbine did for their recent Mirkwood launch:
which is shot using only footage from actual game-play, or use a cinematic version that your game will never live up to? Or does it come down to the surrounding messaging to portray the trailers as what they are – cool videos loosely based on the game they’re tied to?
A combination of a few things got me thinking that it might be a good idea to actually post some of the specifics on how to prepare for raiding. I cover some of the general topics on Episode 47 of the LOTRO Reporter Podcast but didn’t go into too many of the specifics. The other piece that got me thinking on this subject was listening to the View from the Top Podcast (Episode 12 to be specific) where they were talking about gear progression in Everquest 2. I’ve posted on armor sets previously (Warden and Captain Post and Minstrel Sets) but that was covering their stats, this post will purely talk about the radiance aspects of the sets and how you obtain them.
There is actually a pretty good page on the Lorebook covering the Radiance Armour which has many of the same specifics I’ll be posting here. Also on the Lorebook you can find all the non-set pieces that have Radiance on them. The nice part about sticking to just the Radiance aspect as it applies to everyone who wants to run the 12-man content and works exactly the same for every class.
You’ll want to start working on these sets as you get into your 50s and will most likely find it easiest to find groups for the Moria instance “The Grand Stairs” or GS as it is usually called. However, now with the Meta-deed rewards for completing all of the instances there are incentives for folks to run all the instances so you may get lucky. All of the boss chests from all of the Moria instances contain Medallions of Moria which can be bartered for the first available Radiance set. This set is not only desirable because of the Radiance, but it is also still some of the best armour in the game for the stats. Below I’ll break out how many coins you can get from each instance as well as how many coins are required for each piece. You can also chat with your class trainer in the main towns in Moria, Lothlorien, and Mirkwood to see what sets are available and their associated costs. Now the last two pieces of the set, the helm and shoulders, are obtained a little differently in that their barter piece only drops from the Watcher raid.
- Grand Stairs – 7 Medallions of Moria (10 for a full clear)
- Fil Gashan – 9 Medallions of Moria
- Forges of Khazad-Dum – 10 Medallions of Moria
- 16th Hall – 10 Medallions of Moria
- Skumfil – 10 Medallions of Moria
- Dark Delvings – 10 Medallions of Moria
- Turtle Raid – 3 Medallions of Moria
The armour set pieces are bartered in the following way:
- Gauntlets and Boots (+10 Radiance) – 10 Medallions of Moria
- Jacket and Leggings (+10 Radiance) – 25 Medallions of Moria
- Non Set Shoulders and Helm (+10 Radiance) – 15 Medallions of Moria
- Set Shoulders and Helm (+20 Radiance) – Platinum Coin of Spirit from the Watcher
To clarify this a bit, the Medallions are rewarded to every player in the group but the the Coins are a reward that you’ll have to win the roll on to get. Usually for the Watcher a couple of Coins will drop, but for the raids going forward usually it is one coin for easy mode and a second coin for Hard (or challenge) mode.
Moving on from Moria to Lothlorien there are 2 sets that you can barter for here. The instances that drop the Medallions of Lothlorien are the Mirror-halls (3-man), the Water Wheels (3-man) and the Halls of Crafting (6-man). I believe the first 2 instances can drop a maximum of 6 coins but I’m not 100% sure on that, but I do know that the Halls of Crafting yields 10 Medallions upon completing Hard mode. All three of these instances are part of the Epic Quest line (Volume 2 Book 8) so you will not only want to do them but should be able to find groups running the instances as well. Also, HoC is a pretty popular instance to run as it does have some nice jewelry drops in it. The first armor set from Lothlorien is just a 3 piece set with each piece providing +15 Radiance.
- Jacket – 25 Medallions of Lothlorien
- Leggings – 15 Medallions of Lothlorien
- Gloves – 10 Medallions of Lothlorien
There is also a Barter Exchange Trader up on the main flet in Lothlorien that will trade 10 Medallions of Moria for 1 Medallion of Lothlorien if you find yourself with left-overs. This also provides people with incentives to run the Moria instances as they can trade in for more useful Medallions for characters already at the level cap. Now the second set is a full six piece set with each piece providing +20 radiance but those barter coins only drop from the 12 man raid Dar Narbugud.
Finally we’ll move on to Mirkwood where there are again 2 different sets you can barter for. However, you do also have the option to barter for the same 3-piece set from Lothlorien using the Medallions of Dol-Guldur if you find those are easier to obtain. There are 3 3-man instances in Mirkwood which I believe all drop 6 Medallions for Hard mode completion. Those instances are Sword Halls, the Warg Pens, and the Dungeons of Dol Guldur but like Moria you will find that most people with mainly do Sword Halls as it is quite easy and quick. You can also get 10 tokens from the 6-man instance Sammuth Gul if you can complete that in Hard mode with the added benefit of some nice jewelry drops and the Symbol required for crafting level 65 second age Legendary Items. There also is a pair of heavy armor gloves (Rochben) that drop from SG with +25 Radiance so you might keep your eyes out for them if you’re a heavy armor wearing class. The cost for the Lothlorien 3-piece set is the same as I mentioned above with the other 3-piece set providing +25 Radiance:
- Boots – 15 Medallions of Dul Guldur
- Shoulders – 20 Medallions of Dul Guldur
- Helm – 25 Medallions of Dul Guldur
The 6 piece set is similar to the Lothlorien 6 piece set in that it only drops from the 12-man raid Barad Guldur with each piece providing +30 radiance.
As it stands currently, only the 3 12-man raids require radiance:
- the Watcher – +60 required, +80 desired
- Dar Narbugud – +80 required, +100 desired
- Barad Guldur – +120 required, +140 desired
Now 2 things to keep in mind with regards to Radiance:
- Gloom (the opposite of Radiance) rounds down so if you have +75 Radiance that’s equivalent to +80.
- Both DN and BG do have places where the gloom will start to increase so the more Radiance you have the better off you’ll be. If you’re sitting at the minimum it is usually a good idea to buy another +10 Radiance (well technically Hope) using Destiny points but remember those can only be purchased while out of combat.
Hopefully this provides a pretty good idea of what Radiance gear is out there, where and how much is needed, and the various ways to obtain it. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or other things to add to this topic.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged BG, Captain, End-game, epic line, Equipment, Gear, group, hard-mode, Lothlorien, LOTRO, Minstral, Mirkwood, Moria, Podcast, radiance, raid, screenshots, Warden
This past week has been quite busy on the news front for LOTRO and I will admit I’ve been quite behind. This has just been a pretty long week for me with my job and as such I’ve barely been able to keep up on the news, let alone comment on it. However, I wanted to touch on a few of the releases as there’s some good (and not so good) updates of late.
First up is the HUGE Developer Diary covering the new region Enedwaith which covers pretty well the new zones, their history and influences, their general storylines, and some of the kinds of enemies you’ll face. I’m looking forward to not only exploring all of the new spaces, but I really like the idea of pulling from Medieval Welsh and Briton influences. I’m also very impressed by the size (bigger and more quests then the North Downs) and all the new artwork as I will admit I’m getting a little tired of not only the darkness of Mirkwood but goblins and orcs 🙂 There are lots of new screenshots in the diary, but these were 2 of my favorites:
Speaking of screenshots, if you’re curious at all about what kinds of items will be available in the upcoming LOTRO Store, go check out Mordor or Bust as he’s posted over 200 pictures of what’s coming. Now before you flip out too much about the specifics, remember that the store is still in beta and things are likely to change. Some of these items may not be purchasable come launch, the prices may change, or we might see some restrictions placed on the use and/or purchase of them. Overall I do like the general look and feel of the store and most of the items seem to fall in line with what I’d like to see from the store. There are a couple of things (reputation horses for example) that I’m not thrilled are in store, but it really isn’t going to impact my enjoyment of the game. I will admit that I’m being somewhat hypocritical when I say I’m all for buying virtue ranks (I LOVE this) but that I don’t want to be able to purchase reputation mounts. At the end of the day, the store is allowing us to decide what our time and money are worth and which we’d rather spend based on the rewards. I know that I will be spending lots of points buying Virtue ranks, but probably not as much on the mounts. As long as the items in the store are priced appropriately for the amount of in-game work required, I’m growing more accepting of the options. The line I’m hoping (and trusting) they don’t cross is when armour, legendary items, or rare crafting drops (The Symbol for example) are available from the store.
For more thoughts on the LOTRO Store, make sure you check out the Beta Journal which contains comments from actual beta participants on the store. I love this idea from Turbine as it gives those of us not in the beta an insight into new features but also provides people in the beta a means to share without breaking the NDA. Hopefully this is the first of many of these Journals!
There have been a couple of Developer comments on the new Lua Scripting interface including a very good post from Narrel walking through what’s currently possible and what the future holds. The key thing here is that they’re specifically NOT allowing folks to make a macro or bot interface to the game purely re-work or tweak the way the user interface works. However, a key item I wish they’d add is the ability to re-skin the mouse cursor but sadly Narrel further points out that you can’t do this now but it might be an option down the road. I can’t wait to see some of the things people will come up with and this will really help out with various user interface problems I think LOTRO has. Plus it allows everyone to solve their own perceived problems how they want to and not rely on Turbine to recognize that problem or solve it the way you want them to.
The final news piece I wanted to mention is JWBarry’s post on the new Instance Scaling mechanism we’ll see. This one has me a little torn as I really like the idea and direction but it also is a little depressing. I’m very excited for the option to revisit some of the spaces I haven’t seen in a while as it will provide something else to do, but I will admit I’m a little worried that the rewards won’t quite be worth the effort. If you look at the current content, most folks only do a couple of instances (Sword Halls, Sammath Gul, and Grand Stairs) based on the difficulty and the associated rewards. I’m just not sure there will be enough unique and desirable rewards for each of these spaces to drive enough folks to form groups to tackle these. Especially when you consider the instance group size doesn’t scale, so you’ll still need 3, 6, or 24 people to complete them and I’m just not sure that will be the case long term. The biggest downer about all this for me is that this will be another content update without new content for end-game raiders as most of them will have already done all of that content before. Yes I know it will feel “new” but unless there are seriously cool rewards, I just don’t see folks doing it. At least this will provide a diversion for those groups if they get burnt out on the current content, but without the prospect of a new raid I have a feeling a good portion of that community might be lost.
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged End-game, Enedwaith, epic line, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Gear, group, hard-mode, Legendary Items, Lore, LOTRO, Mirkwood, screenshots, skirmishes, traits, virtues, volume 3
If you missed it live (or want to listen to it again), a Casual Stroll to Mordor’s Captain Roundtable is now posted both on their site and on iTunes. I participated but definitely Elb and Geiri really do know their stuff and they do play their captains slightly different. If you have a captain or want to learn more about the class, it is certainly well worth the listen. It is a little long (a shade over 2 hours) but we do also cover a bunch of other group related topics as well. The build-up and recording of it certainly has gotten me more fired up about the class and I’m actually working on my captain again as well as working on his radiance. I did finally hit 65 and realized that I really do miss the class 🙂 I’m not saying he’s going to become my main again, but certainly not banished to the Thorin’s Hall Homestead either.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO
Tagged Captain, End-game, Equipment, Gear, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, Podcast, pvp, radiance, raid, skirmishes, threat, traits, virtues
In case you missed the post from a Casual Stroll to Mordor I will be participating in another roundtable tonight, this time focusing on Captains. If you can join us live at 9pm Eastern (-5GMT) there will be a live chat room where you can participate. The link for the chat room information is either on CStM’s live page or on the LOTRO Network. Or you can feel free to post questions here or on their thread, or email one of us if you have specific questions or topics you’d like us to cover. It will be a similar format to the Warden roundtable.
And if you can’t make it live, we’ll both be posting when it it released.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged BG, Captain, crafting, End-game, epic line, Equipment, Gear, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, Podcast, radiance, raid, threat, traits, virtues
Well in some cases it does help to be a bit delayed in getting news out as sometimes numbers do change and fluctuate especially when subscription numbers are mentioned. Yesterday, Mordor or Bust posted an article from the PatriotLedger which originally stated 200K new LOTRO subscribers since the F2P announcement – but that has since been clarified to be 100K-200K beta applicants, via Turbine. Now, while not quite as impressive as new subs, when you consider that subscribers were automatically signed-up (and hopefully not counted in this number) that’s still a pretty good sign of new blood to the game. So my thoughts are this will be a pretty substantial influx of new folks to the game and some portion of those will certainly transfer over to subscriptions, or buy things through the cash shop, which will bring new revenue and resources to Turbine. Most people peg the current subscription base around 250K to 500K for LOTRO (still hard to figure out) this will most likely mean about a community twice the size it currently is. Which yes, will bring some annoyances but will all the tools we have to get around those, I’m more excited for all the cool people who will be joining us!
The other piece of news lately that has stirred some commotion was the article over on Massively where they get to sit and chat with the Turbine folks about the new toys and such coming with Enedwaith. If you haven’t read the article, I highly suggest it but I figured I’d share my thoughts on what we’ve learned so far.
- There seems to be lots of focus and effort on helping people learn the game. From the re-works to the intro tutorials and the UI tweaks I think that will be a big help for people just hopping in to the game. Plus hopefully they’ll get to some of the annoyances us current players have.
- The whole instance thing is exciting, assuming they don’t screw it up. I like the idea of an “instance join” mechanism and of course the scaling mechanism. Now the scaling is similar to Skirmishes but you can’t change the group size, only the level of the instance. They’re also breaking up some of the longer instances into wings, which was part of the initial confusion as these were quoted as entire instances when in fact it is just a part of one. So far I’m all positive, the scary part for me is the rewards as I want these instances to be rewarding and not just diversions. I don’t expect to get the highest tier radiance gear but I want stuff that could actually benefit my character and not another skirmish mark grind for runes and relics for my LIs.
- And finally they did talk about Enedwaith which everyone should be happy to learn is a happier more open place! It is a large zone with a pretty good amount of quests (over 160) so this should provide a nice alternative for folks who are scared (or tired) of the dark. It also is the continuation of the epic story which I’m quite addicted to and can’t get enough of. I also found it interesting (not knowing the lore) that we’ll see quite a few different Middle-Earth cultures including men and hobbits. Also, there’s a race specific quest line mentioned which will be interesting as well to see how that plays out – sadly I only have men so I’ll need others to fill me in on what I’ve missed.
Nothing but positives from the news side of things for me, but there still are lots of unknowns so we’ll still have to wait and see how everything fleshes out.
Posted in General, LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged beta, End-game, Enedwaith, epic line, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Legendary Items, Lore, LOTRO, Mirkwood, radiance, raid, runes, skirmishes, volume 3
For those of you who enjoyed the Warden video and the one for the Loremaster done by EveNArtworkS they have moved. I saw this on the forums and wanted to re-post here too as the original copies of these videos that I linked to previously have been moved over to YouTube. I also updated my original post as well.
Here are the links for the Warden Video and the LoreMaster video, I’ll also embed them here as well.
After reading this thread over on Casual Stroll to Mordor I figured that not only would I run this to make sure I still could do it, but record it, and post about it.
For those of you who haven’t run this instance, it is a solo quest out of the later Mirkwood quest zones Thangulhad. One of the draws of this quest is that it is one of the few (I mainly just do 2 of the dailies) that rewards the Gold Star Emblems. Check out Chordian.net for what you can use these for, but mainly the Horse, Port, and Legendary item stuff including the Scroll of Delving which adds 10 levels to your legendary item. I actually will grab this quest and the one for the black badges of dishonor as I find usually I can get the 5 badges I need while finishing up the instance. That way I can get my 2 Gold Star Emblems and Item XP all in one shot.
In this quest you are proceeding with 2 dwarves trying to seal up an area that the goblins are using to possibly penetrate and harass the various Mirkwood camps. And of course, both of these dwarves need to survive in order for you to complete the quest. Because of the escorts and the number of mobs, this is usually viewed as on of the tougher solo instances in the game and pretty darn hard on certain classes.
This is a pretty fast paced quest without much time to catch your breath, there are a couple of 2-mob pulls but then a couple with multiple normal mobs and a signature, followed by another wave of a couple of normals. So for me, one of the keys is liberal use of food to not only keep you alive while fighting but also boost your out-of-combat regeneration rates such that you can quickly recover for the next wave.
For the most part, I follow a lot of what’s mentioned in the post I linked above with the exception of a couple class traits. I’m slotted fully down the Warrior Skald path and I also slot Glorious Anthem and Battle Hymn. This not only makes my anthems last for 45 seconds but the Anthem of Valar does its normal very nice AoE damage plus applies the massive in-combat Morale regeneration buff that’s usually just tied to Anthem of the Free Peoples. With this buff up, I can pretty much stay in the thick of the battle by using the occasional potions. I’ll try to let the dwarves grab one or two mobs, but in general I just tend to AoE everything and pull them out of the fire.
Take a look at my recording of this instance, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions on it. You can also check out my minstrels page over on My.Lotro if you’re curious about my equipment, and the other stat of interest probably is that my ICPR sits at 1073 currently and for DPS I use the bagpipes :).