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
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 😉
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged beta, BG, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Gear, group, hard-mode, LOTRO, radiance, raid, video, Warden
This was a bit of a stealth update that wasn’t mentioned at all in the patch notes but all the new radiance sets were upgraded with the most recent patch. The Annuminas sets didn’t change all that much, just a point or two here or there. The Helegrod sets though were buffed quite a bit and in many cases are some of the best pieces around. I’m pretty happy about this for two reasons as it shows they’re still tweaking things as well as making sure the amount of effort matches the rewards. The appearances of them haven’t changed but if you’re interested in the stats they’re worth a look. If you need a refresher on the looks check out the Minstrel sets and the Warden and Captain sets.
I’ve updated my spreadsheets for the Warden, Captain, and Minstrel sets so check those out if you’re a number geek like me.
Google Docs Version
Excel File Version
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged beta, Captain, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Free to Play, Gear, group, LOTRO, Minstral, radiance, skirmishes, Warden
The next series of JWBarry’s Instance 2.0 Diary has been posted and I highly suggest checking it out as it is another great read.
There’s not as much talk about new features and such but it really gives a great insight into how they went about this process and what they wanted to achieve. This post helps highlight what their goals for instances (and raids) are going forward and I’m liking what I’ve read so far.
This post covers the Annuminas instances and the Eregion 3-mans, although really it is the Annuminas instances as they didn’t need to change the Eregion instances much at all.
The Annuminas instances have always been some of my favorites but there were some annoyances that I think cut into their popularity. Luckily for us, many of those have been corrected including:
- The annoying burrowing Cave Claws – they can’t do that anymore!
- The lever puzzle in Glinghant is gone which also means you can run this with less then 6 people
- The darkwaters have been tweaked which was a HUGE pain
- The instances no longer require specific camps to be controlled by the Free Peoples in Annuminas such that they’re always available!
From a higher level view, what this diary can tell us about instances and their overall group and raiding priorities is almost more exciting then the specific changes:
- Forcing group numbers isn’t a goal. So if you’re good enough to 4-man a 6-man instance you’ll be able to.
- DPS races are not desired boss mechanics
- Drawing fights out just to make them take longer isn’t a fun mechanic
- Puzzles without appropriate feedback will be tweaked and/or removed. I don’t see this as making the game “EZMode” as you’ll still be able to have challenging puzzles but certain ones were complete and total black boxes without any guidance on if you’ve done something good or bad.
- Instead of power drains they’re adding power cost multipliers such that it will be up to the players to manage their power not the instance
For me this Diary wasn’t as much about the details but what JWBarry highlights about the process and their goals. I can’t wait for Part 4’s discussion on Helegrod!!
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged beta, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Gear, group, LOTRO, radiance, raid
I finally got around to adding in the Minstrel sets but I fail at Google Docs so I had to create a new Excel version but I could just append to the Google Docs. I have both the Excel version and the Google Docs version depending on which you prefer. Also, I took snapshots of the Minstrel set and remember the medium Annuminas set is the same as what I showed in the previous armor screenshots.
Posted in LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game
Tagged beta, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Free to Play, Gear, group, LOTRO, Minstral, radiance, screenshots
I promised screenshots yesterday when I posted the stats for the new Warden and Captain radiance armor sets, so here they are. I took them both on my Warden but you’ll get the idea. Also, remember there’s no helm for the heavy Annuminas set.
Medium Annuminas Set:
Heavy Annuminas Set:
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged beta, Captain, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Free to Play, Gear, group, LOTRO, radiance, screenshots, volume 3, Warden
As I promised in my previous post today I did capture the new set information for the Annuminas and Helegrod armour sets. I have since updated both the spreadsheet and Google Docs version of my previous armor comparisons for those who care. I have not updated the Minstrel sets, but I will include the light and medium Annuminas sets for that one. Overall the sets aren’t bad but really they’re just providing another path and option for folks if they want to get the required radiance. When Bullroarer comes back up I will post with some screen-shots of what these look like and the barter levels but essentially they look like the original versions with different color schemes. Basically the same idea as what they did with the moors sets.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Minstrel, Warden
Tagged beta, Captain, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Gear, group, Lore, LOTRO, Minstral, radiance, raid, volume 3, Warden