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
There’s been a number of new (or maybe just new to me) videos posted over the past few days that I wanted to comment on and share.
First up, I know many of you are interested in the Lua scripting so in addition to the video and information I posted previously Merric from a Casual Stroll to Mordor has put up a great video. His video focuses on just a couple plugins and seems to hint that he’ll be doing more of them, this review touches on the Plugin Manager and Hunter Travel Window. I think the Hunter Travel window will definitely be one of the must-haves for any Hunter or Warden.
Next up for those of you looking for tips or hints from running the various Instances, Middle Earth Chronicles has started a new section of the blog with a good collection of videos. Go check out their Instance page and make sure to send in any videos you may have.
In addition check out Carlosjuero’s video showing some of the new UI tweaks over at LOTRO Reporter. Many I had seen, but I totally missed that you can now color code your quest helper on the map overlay. Good stuff and really walks through all the new tweaks available.
And finally but certainly not least I’ve been quite enjoying the video podcast published by the Uruk Hunter. Not only some good information but he also does comment his videos quite well.
Go check those sites out if you haven’t already, and I’ve also updated my Blog roll appropriately.
Posted in LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged BG, blog, End-game, Expansion, Free to Play, hard-mode, LOTRO, Podcast, raid, video
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
With the big changes coming down the pipes for Captains I decided to do a little number crunching to see how the different lines stacked up. Part of my motivation was to see just how good the Hands of Healing line is and if there are ways to compensate for the trait line. I also don’t like having to play a captain as a “heal-bot” so I wanted to see if it was possible to use different traits but still be effective as a healer. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to see how the various captain legacies varied these results to see if my assumptions about good and bad legacies were correct, and I must say I was pretty surprised.
Really what I wanted to look at was how the tweaks to the Leader of Men line stack up against the Hands of Healing line. For those of you who haven’t heard, with the upcoming F2P changes the various Shield Brother skills apply to the entire fellowship albeit with a reduced effectiveness if you trait fully down the Leader of Men line with the Capstone Legendary. For Inspire the fellowship gets HoT ticks of 25-40 morale and a flat healing boost of 4% for Strength of Will that’s not boosted by legacies. To get a feel for the changes you can look at my previous post as well as the side-by-side visual comparisons over on LOTRO Weekly.
My number crunching might not be a perfectly real case but I assumed a 2 minute fight using every healing skill as soon as it is off cooldown. I also assumed that Words of Courage was only used on the fellowship member that was shield-brothered. I ran 5 separate cases, one without any trait bonuses, one traited fully down the HoH line with the capstone, one traited down the Leader of Men and NOT any HoH traits, another with 2 HoH, and finally my current build which is 5 down the Lead the Charge line and 2 in HoH with my current legacies. For the top 4 cases I didn’t include any legacies but certainly you can get a feel for how they would change things. Below is the summary of the results and here’s a link to the spreadsheet as a GoogleDoc.
|Hands of Healing
|Leader of Men
|Leader of Men + 2 HoH
As I started playing around with things it became obvious how much an impact the Rallying Cry Cooldown legacy can be on healing output. This may be obvious to some of you, but I was surprised at how big a difference it made. Assuming a maxed out legacy of 30 seconds my healing output will jump by almost 30% which is about the same boost as I get from 15% on Rallying Cry, Melee Skills Healing, Vocal Skills Healing, and the 10% bonus from the Hands of Healing line. Based on this, I’m going to dump my current emblem and switch to the one with the cooldown reduction as it will be quite a nice bonus for me. My current emblem is below on the right with the one I’m going to replace it with on the left:
As for my traits, I really do think the Leader of Men line will be my group build as it will allows for me to not only heal pretty well but also have a fellowship maneuver chance and the forced taunt. That just seems to be a much more flexible build and one that better fits my play style.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Raids and End-game
Tagged beta, Captain, Enedwaith, group, legacy, Legendary Items, LOTRO, raid, threat, traits
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
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
As Sapience has posted, the NDA on the LOTRO Beta has been lifted. I’m pretty surprised they did it this early, but I’m not going to complain if they decide to release this sooner as opposed to later. There are tons of posts up on the boards but if you don’t want to sift through those I will share my thoughts so far. I will admit that I haven’t done everything but will break my post up in a few different topics as well as spread them out a bit. I’ve already talked a bunch about the store so I’m not going to talk about that. Once the servers come back up I will be posting some screen shots as well but I’m sure others will have them up shortly too 🙂 Also, if you have any specific questions let me know and I’ll see what I can do to answer them.
Starting off with my main class, the Wardens have gotten some nice bumps at the cost of a potentially nasty bruise. The biggest change is that our various carvings now apply to not only the gambits but the builders themselves. For me this not only made a significant difference in my power usage, but since I didn’t have to pull back as much I also had a nice DPS boost. Also Wardens will be getting a Muster to Forochel which while not game breaking is nice to fill out the skills. The biggest “nerf” is that our Gambit recovery skills are now “fast” skills as opposed to immediate which means you can’t use them to interrupt long animations like Defiant Challenge. I’m a bit on the fence about this one as Defiant Challenge really is now back to a crappy legendary but I understand that they need to be careful as it could be overpowered. Not much else changed, but for other thoughts and ideas, check out the live boards for other reactions.
The Captain class was changed pretty significantly and for the most part I think for the good. They’ve added an additional combat skill “Sure Strike” available at level 1, which does the same damage as Defensive Strike but cannot be blocked or parried. This really does help smooth things out such that you’re not waiting for cooldowns during combat. The other changes are in the trait lines as they’ve made some tweaks to the Leader of Men and Lead the Charge lines. Essentially the pet buffs from the Leader of Men lines have been moved to the Lead the Charge lines including the Oathbreaker pet as part of the Lead the Charge capstone. The Leader of Men capstone now has the increased threat mark and the application of the Shield brother buffs to your entire fellowship. The downside for Captains is the nerf of our banners to now provide rating increases and not percentages. Pretty much across the board this will result in a hefty drop in damage and a drop in morale/power. They’ve helped this a little bit with the addition of level 65 armaments and standards but it still doesn’t quite balance out. Essentially they’ve balanced it out more such that Heralds are viable again, but at the sacrifice of banners. Heralds also did get some other tweaks, but being a banner Captain I didn’t look at those at all but check out this thread on the live forums as folks are posting their thoughts as well.
There are two new armor sets available and I will have new versions of my armor spreadsheets posted here shortly as I did grab the info for both Wardens and Captains. They’ve updated both the Annuminas sets (so there’s a light, medium, and heavy) as well as the class specific ones from Helegrod. You can still get the old sets, but there are completely new level 65 sets as well. One real cool thing here is this now provides a Medium Armour Radiance set for Minstrels 🙂 I do like the idea of the sets as it gives another option for radiance progression and doesn’t make the current sets irrelavent either.
And finally, I wanted to touch on the new Lua scripting. The community really has taken off with the scripting and there’s all sorts of very cool things folks have posted. It really has been cool to see how people have been using this new tool but also working together to propose ideas and explain why certain things can’t work. The main ones I’ve enjoyed have been the inventory tweaks, travel windows for Hunter and Warden ports, combat enabled quickslots, and changes to the “vitals” display. The scripts only allow access to your own information but provides another way to display health/mana and a customizable way to see buffs and debuffs. A couple of examples are making the expiration of buffs/debuffs easier to understand and pick and choose which buffs/debuffs you care about. I’m pretty sure I’ll be using some of these when this goes live as I don’t see them as game breaking or cheating but just making the User Interface more effective for me and my play-style. These plugins also really help with the cluttered quickslot bars as it allows you to clear off a bunch of things and order/display them exactly how you want.
I’ll have more updates as well go, but wanted to get this out up front.
Posted in Captain, LOTRO, Minstrel, Raids and End-game, Warden
Tagged beta, Captain, End-game, Enedwaith, Equipment, Expansion, Free to Play, Gear, group, LOTRO, Minstral, radiance, raid, skirmishes, traits, volume 3, Warden