Tag Archives: pvp

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.

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Captain Roundtable


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.

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Warden Roundtable


As I mentioned a week or so ago I participated on the Casual Stroll to Mordor’s podcast as part of their class roundtables, this one focused on the Warden class. I will admit it is a bit of a long episode (tad over 2 hours) but it was fun to not only have my thoughts but a couple other very good Wardens as well.  Both Azz and Ryodor play the class slightly differently then me and have different experiences so it is a nice diversion from my ramblings.

For those of you looking to pick up additional tricks or are just starting out with the class I’d strongly suggest taking a listen.

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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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Loving LOTRO’s move to Free to Play


Ok, so I’ve had a chance to digest this a bit with the help of everyone on Twitter and the various blog posts so I think I have my thoughts reasonably gathered on this topic.  Up front, I wanted to highlight the work Patience (@70ms) and all the other Turbine community folks are doing on twitter as they’ve been all over this responding and clarifying all the various tweets and questions posted.

I think the first thing everyone needs to do is relax a little bit and give this time to not only sink in but time for Turbine to release information on the pricing structure as well as the in-game point reward systems.  These two will have a massive impact on the effectiveness of this change and will most likely be the focus of the upcoming beta test.  If you haven’t read up on it, there are quite a few posts out there summarizing the change including my previous post which has all the official Turbine posts in it as well as the excellent summary from CStM.  And of course, I’m sure I’m missing about 50 other blog posts out there but I’m sure everyone in my blogroll will have a post up shortly on this topic 😉

With that being said, my initial take on this is nothing but positive.  Assuming the points are well balanced (ok, that might be a big assumption) everyone wins in this move.  Just to clarify, I’m a lifetime subscriber and have been a part of this game since closed beta.  My subscription has long since paid for itself, and even better is that now I have the option to use saved up or the Loyalty Reward points for expansion packs such that I can continue in my exact play style without spending another dollar on LOTRO.  Now I will admit, for those that recently signed up as lifetime members this might be a larger pill to swallow but I do think this will pump some serious life into the game and make that subscription even more valuable.  Looking at this another way, with all the new “micro-transactions” coming out ($25 sparkle pony) one can only imagine that Turbine would’ve hopped on this trend as well and now current subscribers can get those items for free.

I love the fact that the items they’ve mentioned so far (storage, cosmetics, wardrobe, and mounts to name a few) are all fluff items that won’t impact gameplay but also are some of the most annoying aspects of the current game.  I’m tired of deleting items or selling them because I’ve run out of space and I’d love to be able to store more then 2 cosmetic sets so these will be great for me.  I’m sure as we learn more there will be more things available, but it will probably be very similar to what is available from the DDO Store.  You can get a feel for the points pricing as well, which look pretty reasonable to me.  There are some things that I don’t agree with, but it actually looks like just another alternative to the skirmish points system.  The only real questionable item for me in the DDO store would be the “Tomes” which offer a permanent stat buff, otherwise most are temporary and as such are just like in-game food.  Now the ultimate would be some way to trade or convert all the barter items we currently have into Turbine points!

There’s been some concern about DDO having items available to trivialize the game but my belief is that LOTRO is a different enough game that while those might exist it really won’t make much difference.  And honestly, in some cases I might like something like that to help level up alts quicker and easier.  At the end of the day, I envision that the only people really upset about making the game easier would be those raiding or out in the Moors.  And both of those areas are so heavily dependant on player skill that items most likely wouldn’t be able to compensate.  Seriously, do I really care if someone can get through the lone-lands easier then I did?  However, it could provide those same players an option to get other toons of theirs up to the appropriate levels quicker which would give them more reasons to play more.  The main reason I have many alts I don’t really play is that the thought of just leveling all that way is quite daunting, so any “buff” I could get would be quite welcome.

This move will open the game up for more people and also provide folks with a more casual option to play, which will allow people to come and go as they please.  This will overall boost the general player base which is always a good thing.  You’ll be able to bounce back and forth between the tiers as you please without having to worry about losing anything, some months you might stay at the free option and others you might pay for.  Sure there will be some people that we wish weren’t in the game, but with user channels and such you can pretty effectively block that crap out.  Plus, notice that on the chart chat is limited for non VIP players, so perhaps user channels will be a VIP feature only?  I’d much rather have the option to block the annoying folks, then not allow the “good” people the option to experience more of the game.

They’ve also set up a nice balance such that people can customize their account how they want.  So if you want to just have one toon experience everything you could stay on the free model and upgrade with in-game points to see the different content as you level.  If you absolutely love the shire and just want to check out all the class, you can do that too.  If you want to buy a horse, you can earn off your gold cap such that you can save up to buy your pretty mount.

Overall I”m very excited about this shift, sure there will be some growing pains, but hey that’s what beta’s for!

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Turbine announces LOTRO going Free to Play


Ironically we were just having this discussion over on Mordor of Bust but Turbine made it official today with the official announcement that they’re adopting the same pay model as they recently implemented with Dungeons and Dragons Online.  Needless to say, twitter has just exploded today with all sorts of discussions and comments.

I’m still a bit conflicted about it, but so far I’m leaning more to the positive side but more on my thoughts later, I’m just going to make this a news and summary post.

I’d suggest reading the new LOTRO Executive Producer’s post on this subject as she not only explains her background and some of the goals but also gives us a few teasers as well.  This will be launched this fall with the second book of Volume 3.  Towards the end of the year into 2011 there will be enhancements to the Legendary Item system, radiance, DX11 support, and Monster play.  Now interesting enough, she does break out Item advancement as a second mention so possibly there’s something else in the works too, but we’ll have to wait and see.  She also hypes the beta signup which existing subscribers are already opted in to the chance to be selected but signing up again will boost your chances.  This obviously answers my concerns over the Isengard program, as they’ve been building all this new stuff for the F2P switch.

Now on to the meat, there are 3 different account Tiers, free, premium, and VIP.  All current subscribers are automatically given VIP status so that’s a nice perk.  For a pretty good chart on the explanation of the differences check out this link. One thing that Patience has already confirmed is that if you already have 7 character slots unlocked you will not lose those, these charts are just assuming you have the core Shadows of Angmar game not the expansions which unlock new slots, classes, and the higher level cap.  For the most part, I like the way they’ve broken things out and I really like the fact that things like storage slots, shared bank slots, and the new cosmetic wardrobe are all purchasable.  For all of us starved for slots, this is awesome as the wardrobe is 20 slots, shared storage is expandable to 50 (currently 20), and I’m assuming you can buy additional bank slots too.  Tons of information in the FAQ although most of it concerns what happens when you swap between Tiers.

For those of you (like me) that are Lifetime Founders there are some additional bonuses.  Lifetimers are automatically VIPs and get the 500 Turbine points for free ever month (just like if we were paying a subscription fee) but also get additional bonus points for being a Founder as well as veteran reward points for a total initial bonus of up to 3500 Turbine Points.  In addition, since it appears that the expansion packs are now part of the store it is possible that you’ll be able to buy those with Turbine Points such that you could save up and not have to spend actual cash if you didn’t want to.

One other point that’s mentioned in the chart but not really expanded is how players earn Turbine points through gameplay.  This will really drive how free it really will be to play as the chart shows that free players only have access to the 3 starter areas (Erid Luin, the Shire, and Bree) so there’s no way they can even approach the level cap.  But if through normal game play you can earn enough points to buy the other zones, everyone should be fine.  You’ll still need to buy the expansion packs, but in theory you can now use your in-game points as opposed to actual cash.

A couple of points I picked out:

  • Max characters per server is now 11
  • It looks like for the most part, downgrading account Tier means you can’t get new stuff but the old perks you had are still available.
  • Monster play is restricted to VIP level only
  • Quest regions are broken out per Tier, VIPs have full access others need to buy the packs
  • Limits on Gold and Inventory bags for the 2 lower tier accounts
  • Rested XP only available for VIPs
  • Can’t spend Destiny points unless you’re a VIP, but you can earn them at any tier.
  • Trait slotting is limited on 2 lower tier accounts
  • Points cannot be transferred between LOTRO and DDO

I’m going to reserve my thoughts on this for a little bit to let this all sink in, but wanted to get a quick summary out there.

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My Latest In-game Accomplishments


So I”m a bit of a list maker and enjoy crossing things off, so I figure I’d share my most recent ones.  I was pretty excited last week when I main-tanked a couple areas that I hadn’t before but this week I hit a couple other big milestones for me.

The first one was probably more just a matter of me not focusing on it but I did finally finish off my non-BG radiance set (so I now have 120 radiance) as I got in a couple of final runs through Sword Halls to get my last 6 Mirkwood tokens.  It is nice to now not need to focus on those tokens buy more on my legendary items and maybe even get a 2nd age weapon 🙂

The other accomplishment was getting to Rank 4 in the Ettenmoors, for the real reason of getting the 30 minute cool-down map.  I’ve done a bunch of that ranking solo as I really do enjoy smaller battles and find the Warden to be a fun and diverse class out in the Moors.  As for raid groups, it can be fun and at times more productive then solo but does require me to dedicate a bit more time.  Below is a snap from Mirkwood showing my PvMP stats:

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