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
In case you missed the notification, you can catch me as a guest on episode 47 of the LOTRO Reporter podcast. We focus mainly on the End-game content as we go through what you should do to prepare and run the various instances and raids. I’m going to follow that up with a more detailed post on Radiance gear either tomorrow or Monday.
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
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.
Posted in Gambits, LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged End-game, Equipment, Gambits, Gear, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, Podcast, pvp, radiance, skirmishes, threat, traits, virtues, Warden
So I ended up getting a rare Sunday evening play time and was able to fill in for my kinship’s BG raid. Now this was the second day, so they had already cleared out Durchest and the Twins, so sadly I still have yet to successfully defeat those two encounters. However, the LT was an interesting and very fun battle. I probably ended up making a few mistakes, but I will admit there’s just so much stuff going on in that fight. I’ve read up on the fight, but there’s only so much that will help until you actually get a chance to see the fight live.
Leading up to the top of the tower there is quite a bit of trash, most of it is similar to previous encounters with the Mace and Axe guys. The only real tricky part there is not getting stunned around the same time as the Fire Axe does his death explosion as that’s just rather nasty. However, that hopefully only takes out one or two people and the others should be able to take out the Mace relatively easily.
The other nasty mob are the lights, which aren’t too bad, they’re just annoying. They bring extra dread as well as periodic AoEs that are preceded by big stuns. They also have AoE fears which cause you to run off in random directions, and I’ll admit this is quite strange the first time it happens to you 🙂
So it does take quite a while to get up to the top, but once you do it actually is a breath-taking view. Unfortunately the forest and such below doesn’t have quite the high-quality texture that the rest of the game does but I still thought it was a pretty nifty view. We did also get a chance for a group pose while we waited for the GM 🙂
Now technically we didn’t get him down as we had a few fill-ins (including myself) but did end up killing the fell-beast as for some reason the Lt. never dismounted like he is supposed to. That’s how I was able to get the snaps, as we sorta broke the instance and had time before a GM could reset things for us. I must say, it really didn’t take all that long for them to respond which was pretty nice.
As for the fight itself, it is pretty chaotic to say the least. The main things to worry about are the dreaded eye-balls on top of your head. There’s a purple one that is a nasty DoT that can also spread so you need to get away from the group. There’s also a yellow one which is the fell-beast hits you while that mark is on you it will heal for 10-20K morale for each hit. So, if you get the purple mark you just run away to the edge of healing radius but you shouldn’t have to worry too much. But, for the yellow you’ll need to kite around such that the fell-beast doesn’t get near you. There are also a few slows that can be annoying as well as areas of purple poo that are additional DoTs and just general not fun areas to be around. Now the real fun is when you get both eyes, but luckily that doesn’t happen all that much. There’s there’s also the frontal AoE “roar” the fell-beast does that’s pretty nasty as well so you really need to pay attention to where you’re standing and what’s going on. The other mechanic is there’s a huge ICPR reduction from the Lt, but hitting the fell-beast does also return some power so there’s the potential to maintain a healthy power pool
Another important thing is right by where we posed as a group there’s actually a hidden “wall” that blocks you from hugging the wall to run around, and it is mirrored on the other side of the door too. We’re thinking this is due to the chests, but just be aware that if you’re kiting around the wall you’ll need to move a bit towards the center to avoid that blockage.
I did end up parsing this fight, but it is a bit hard to get through as each time he flies up (about every 30-50K of morale) is split out as a separate encounter. So for the times I was chilling in melee range I was up between 150 and 200 DPS, but that drops off dramatically to around 80 or so when I’m just using ranged attacks.
I’m really looking forward to running this some more, and I’d love to get in there with a bit more radiance (I just have 120) as that makes a big difference. I also hope to get my minstrel and Captain geared up but that’s another post 🙂
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged BG, End-game, Equipment, Gear, group, LOTRO, Mirkwood, radiance, screenshots, Warden
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.
Posted in LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged End-game, Equipment, Expansion, Gambits, Gear, group, guardians, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Minstral, Mirkwood, moors, Podcast, pvp, radiance, raid, traits, virtues, Warden
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.
Posted in General, LOTRO
Tagged Expansion, Free to Play, lifetime, LOTRO, Mirkwood, moors, pvp, radiance, skirmishes, traits, volume 3
I didn’t get too much time in this week but was able to get into some raiding and group fun. I also did some re-working of my Warden which I’ll get to at the bottom.
On Wednesday I JUST missed getting into a BG raid, which was just as well as I was already committed to one on Thursday 🙂 so I ended up just messing around in game chatting with folks while waiting to see what was going to happen. I did end up doing a quick run of DD with one of my kin-mates to finish off her class legendaries, which did have some interesting moments as you’ll see from the pictures below:
I ended up getting punted into the sticky walls and hanging out there for a bit 🙂 Since we were all well over-leveled it didn’t really matter but I can imagine for an on-level group that could be a bit of a problem.
Thursday was back into BG for another run at Durchest. We’re still struggling with him and are trying to figure out what’s going on. It may be something we’re doing (or not doing) on the tanking side, but that appears to be working properly for the most part until one of us dies. I’ve looked at a couple of videos including this one showing hard mode but nothing terribly obvious has jumped out at us. Maybe we’re just missing a combination of small things that when build up cause serious issues. The other forum post I noticed which I thought was interesting was the following on Durchest’s heal. He has a heal that happens when someone in the raid dies, but he can actually store those up and save them for when he hits 100K. Rather annoying, but does account for some seemingly random healing.
But all the struggles in BG have caused me to check out my Warden to make sure she’s at least properly geared out. I ended up switching out Tolerance as looking at my logs I really don’t take that much tactical damage for Valor which gives me a pretty nice morale boost. I then switched over to the Lothlorien Stalker’s cloak from the Lothlorien Preserver’s Cloak which cost me a bit of Might in exchange for power and fate. I’m then going to see if I can get lucky and crit on the Greenwood necklace on my jeweler as that will be another morale booster plus some incoming healing, in exchange for some agility. I also was checking out the various crafted relics and realize I need to find a supreme master cook who has kindred reputation with the crafting guild to make me the +100 morale rune as mine currently aren’t all that great. I prefer that over the +20 vitality ones (which for tanks provide the same morale boost) as with my current stats I get real close to the stat cap when fully buffed. I also need to get some more work in on relic grinding as the ones I’m using could stand to be a bit better. With all these changes, I should be able to get my morale around 7400 and power at 2350 without buffs and without sacrificing my other stats too much. Feel free to check out my character page and let me know if you see anything I could swap out.
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged BG, crafting, End-game, Equipment, Gear, group, hard-mode, Legendary Items, LOTRO, Mirkwood, radiance, raid, runes, screenshots, traits, video, virtues, Warden