Tag Archives: runes

Enedwaith, beta, and subscription news

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.

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Wardens grabbing even more attention

So I’m stealing the title from my post over on LOTRO Reporter in which I walk through the basics of tanking for a Warden.  I wanted to link to that over here as well as refresh a couple other previous posts I’ve made along those lines.

There were significant combat system changes with the launch of Mirkwood, so I took some time in this post to walk through all the changes.

For more specifics on tanking gambits you can check out my entire series over on the LOTRO Reporter, but also I posted in significant length on this subject back in November.

With all the agro talk, I also wanted to refresh the post I made quoting Graalx2 with the threat definitions.

And finally I’ve also mentioned a few times about Legendary Items which comes up in many of these posts so I figured I’d post the links to those posts here covering both the Warden Legendary Item Pools and legacy and rune discussions.

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Legendary Relic Farming

After my recent issues (or concerns is probably more accurate) while raiding BG I’ve been taking a closer look at my Warden and trying to make her stronger.  Some of them I posted about the other day but I also wanted to work on my runes for my legendary items.  Luckily I happened to be chatting with an in-game friend about this and he tipped me on to a pretty nice method.  So I’ve spend the past day or so running the numbers and figured I’d post the results I have so far, which do seem to line up with his.

Previously I would save up or buy off the auction hall a bunch of crummy legendary items, equip them, kill a couple mobs, and then deconstruct them at level 2.  This is a pretty effective method but can become quite tedious.  A variation on this theme is to complete a bunch of Mirkwood quests (or the Moria mirror quests) that reward LI experience and in-between turn-ins visit the Relic Master to deconstruct a newly leveled legendary item.  Many of the deconstructs will result in just a couple of Tier 1 relics, but critical results will yield multiple tier 4’s so this can be very effective.

However, with the appearance of skirmishes I thought this might be a nice change of pace to my normal method.  I had assumed bartering for the highest level runic  would grant the best results, however my testing so far is quite the opposite.  I’m not going to claim that I’ve done a statistically valid test here, but my data combined with some others seems to be within the same ballpark so while your results might fluctuate somewhat it should be close, and as you’ll see the difference between tiers is pretty staggering.

I ended up running a bunch of skirmishes and bartered for Tier 1 and Tier 2 runics and then kept track of the results upon their deconstruction and subsequent combination.  That coupled with some spot checks of the higher tiers (I haven’t ground THAT many skirmishes) confirms to me that bartering for Tier 1 runics is by far the best option.  Higher tier runics don’t produce the same quantity output as the Tier 1’s do, basically it is a decreasing scale.  Also, when combining relics the crit percentage is actually quite high and can generate runes two tiers higher which isn’t possible for a runic deconstruction.  The chart below summarizes my data so far:

Runic Tier # per Decon Ave/20 1’s SP Cost
1 8.3 165.5 460.0
2 4.8 51.3 929.5
3 3 17.8 1073.0
4 2 6.5 886.0
5 1 2.9 918.1

So the columns are the rune tier, the average number of runes resulting from deconstructing the runic, the average result from my tests using just tier 1 runics, and the skirmish point cost based on these numbers required to match the output from the tier 1’s.  As you can see, Tier 1’s are far and away better then any other option and depending on your luck you can get some really nice results as my first test yielded a tier 7 relic!

The other nice part is that 460 skirmish points is about what I can get from running the Rift skirmish on Tier 2 difficulty (about 30 minutes) after I barter all the special marks and such.  Other skirmishes vary but I can get around that number relatively quickly.

So my daily plan now will be to run the rift skirmish for my runic batch conversions, check the AH for warden items, and run the Mirkwood dailies.  And pretty soon I should have a nice stock of the tier 8’s and 9’s that I’m striving for.

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My week in LOTRO

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.

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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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Warden Forum Nuggets

As usual, the Warden boards of late have been filled with quite a few really good posts, so I wanted to make sure everyone saw them.  And at the bottom, there’s a pretty good in-game champ quote that I couldn’t resist re-posting 😉

The first post is centered around Warden DPS, not that we should ever be mistaken for a DPS class but what’re some ways to get a higher output.  Long post short, trait spear line, high might, high melee offense rating/critical rating, and good legacies on your weapons.  Personally I am leaning towards having some DPS weapons as opposed to just tanking ones as it is easier, quicker, and cheaper to swap weapons then it is to completely re-trait.  Also a refresher on what good DPS rotations are, which essentially are the spear line gambits 😉

After that, we go to our main role of tanking.  The first post primarily discusses the difference between the Fist line and the Shield line and when each are preferred.  The thread does start with the excitement over Perceived Threat being recently fixed, which does make the First line more viable.  The general consensus is that Shield is slightly better for the overall healing abilities but there are cases (BG for one) when you won’t be using your HoTs and there’s lots of –threat debuffs tossed around – making the Fist line pretty appealing.  Following a similar line of thought there’s a thread on setups for BG which not only follows the trait line from above, but also has some good ideas for BG in general.  If you’re a Warden planning to run BG, I’d highly recommend those posts and probably a conversation or 2 with a couple of the posters there that have actually run that raid.  And actually, there’s some good tanking posts in those the would be of use for everyone running that raid.

I think I’ve talked about this a couple of times, but there’s another pretty decent explanation of the differences between Wardens and Guardians.  The BG posts above got into this a bit in talking about the raid mechanics, but this post is more generic.  To summarize, both are good fun classes who can tank very well with their individual strengths and weaknesses 🙂  But, IMO a well played Warden usually will provide more value to a group and to a lesser extent the raid.

My last Warden thread is another “hot-bar” setup which I think is an interesting idea (well ideas actually as the OP links to another thread).  This one mainly focuses on the 2-builder mastery skills we get and can trait for but also has some nifty layouts.  I’m confident my Warden bars are pretty well set (for my taste) but new Wardens or folks who don’t like theirs might enjoy the post.

I also wanted to post a congrats to Telchalin and Madame of Nimrodel who managed to duo the Sword Halls instance in Hard-mode!  They’re a guardian/burglar pair and that’s certainly not a feat to be taken lightly.  It gives me some ideas as I do have a number of burglar friends 😉

And finally, I love to tease my Champion friends but I didn’t realize the LOTRO devs agreed with me – check out these dwarves from Dolven View.  And in case you haven’t been there, that’s the Guardian class vendor talking trash to the Champion vendor 😉

Developer Diary: Volume 1 Revised Edition

The much anticipated Dev. Diary on the Volume 1 revamp has been posted by Orion. We already knew many of the details, but I really appreciate the way all of these diaries (and this one is no exception) walk us through the process in how they attempted something particular.  I’m all for the changes and not just because I want my pretty horse 🙂  I also appreciate that they were very concerned about not only the balance but the lore and remind us that all throughout the LOTR books there are cases where characters do things they probably shouldn’t normally be able to do.  The general idea behind this is when doing quests that would normally be a full fellowship you will get a scalable buff to your morale, power, regen rates, incoming damage, and outgoing damage all of which scale based on how many others are in your fellowship.  So this system allows you full flexibility in not only your initial play through but allows you to repeat these quests in any fashion as well, which was a draw-back to the system put in place for the Lone-lands revamp.

The addition of the “Elf-stones” allows them to tightly control the areas where these massive buffs will be allow during quests that are out in the open.  However, maybe my memory is failing me, but I can really only think of one quest that is a fellowship quest out in the open.  That quest is the find the rider quest in the Trollshaws, which other then farming trolls, there’s really no reason to go down there.

The other tidbit buried at the bottom of the post was that the Inspired Greatness buff will work during replays of instances via Reflecting Pools.  This allows for solo players to obtain Marks of Triumph which previously were limited to only group runs.  For those of you who forget (like me) you can use these marks to barter for all sorts of things including legendary runes and relics, but also the various armor sets, various consumables, and crafting components!  So, there now is a path for all of us to go and get things like the Helegrod armor set, the Angmar armor set, and the Annunimas set!  This is such an awesome move to allow us other ways to get stuff that we’ve out-leveled 🙂  Soon enough my Warden will look like the below picture and I can’t wait!!


More Awakening

And the news from Bioware keeps on coming 🙂  Some of it is good, and some is not so exciting (for me at least)

They’ve released on their wiki site information about some of  the new Mage spells which do sounds pretty darn cool!  This is coupled with the announcement that one of the new specialization lines for mages is the Battlemage.  But one of my concerns from my previous post was confirmed in that many of the Battlemage spells (which were showed in the videos) can in fact create friendly fire incidents and as such careful positioning will be required.  Basically this line allows the mage to create a pulsating ring of various kinds of damage depending on the spell used.  Certainly some cool stuff, but will be a bit tricky.

The Friday update also released info on Sigrun, and there’s a blog from one of the lead writer’s going into more detail on her story. Not a whole lot of new information but nice to fill out the back-story of this character.  Also, I might have missed this somewhere else, but they talk about runes that can be added to weapons (I’m guessing a similar concept to how LOTRO does it for legendary items), which will be a nice way to further customize things.

And finally, the Awakening FAQ has been updated with information from Bioware’s new Community Facilitator.  This is the “bad news” I was referring to at the top of this post.  DLC items will not carry over into Awakenings, which means that content from an item perspective (one of the selling points) is a total waste.  I still appreciated the storylines but it does strike me as a bit odd they resorted to this decision.  However, at least the Warden’s Keep abilities will import, so that’s a good thing as I do like those 🙂  Oghren is confirmed to be the character joining us which does sadden me a bit but at least they do confirm there are cameos from the other characters that will follow the choices we made in Origins.  They also imply (or it might be a straight admission depending how you read it) that we’ll only hear from Alistair and Wynne, which is also disappointing, although I can understand the decision as those are potentially the only ones who stick around.

Some other information throughout the FAQ, but those were the main items I saw.

For the most part, some good things coming but I am a bit bummed about the character choice and follow through of the storylines with the rest of the companions.  We shall see as we get closer but things overall are looking good!

Wardens marching through the forums

I’m a little behind in working on my warden as I have lots of things I need to take a more in-depth look at.  However, there are quite a few of these that are debated on the forums.  I’m gong to paraphrase them with my own thoughts, but also provide the threads for you to read and digest yourselves.

I’ll start off with a neat chart from a fellow blogger, who I didn’t realize even had a warden 🙂  But once again, Harparelle has come up with another great post graphically breaking down the various gambits. I’ve seen a few of these around, and each one helps reinforce the gambit progression for me as they’re all from a slightly different point of view.

For those of you like me who were a bit concerned by the double spear at the end of our new gambit, graalx2 has posted that it is indeed fixed and should end with a shield.  There’s some debate in the rest of the thread as to whether it should be fist or shield and while fist would be nicer from a mastery perspective I don’t think it matters all that much as there are a number of ways to build it with masteries no matter what the last builder is.

Continuing on the gambit execution thread, one of the biggest complaints about some of our gambits (Defiant Challenge being the worst) is the duration of the animation.  Some gambits/skills really aren’t practical as the animation just takes forever.  Well, if you take the advice of Rainyman from the forums, if you use one of our recovery skills immediately after the long animation gambit you will interrupt that animation and be able to proceed with another gambit.  So essentially using any skill that has a “fast” or immediate execution time as per the new combat re-vamp interrupts any current animation and lets you progress with something new.  So this also works with critical strike too, but it just isn’t as readily available like the recovery skills. I’ve tried this a few times and it does work, now granted I’m not sure this is quite the outcome these skills were built around, but it can be quite effective 🙂

Switching gears to equipment, the legacy debate continues on the live boards with some good breakdowns and discussion on the merits of the respective legacies.  The second post in the thread does have the full pool breakout if you’re curious as well.  For me, I’m mainly going for one or 2 of the threat increase legacies, power reductions, increased healing and increased damage.  I’m still not sure the threat ones matter all that much, but being a tank anything that helps me get more agro is a good thing.  And as a tank, increased damage output isn’t all that high on my list.  I still haven’t found any items that I think are great, but I do have a handful that I do like and am progressing to see how they turn out.

The other applicable legendary item discussion of late has been regarding the best rune/relic combiation to use.  I’m still grinding up to get tier 8s and 9s but there is some interesting ideas in there.  The main discussion point is how much melee defense to stack versus other areas, which I’m also looking at as lots of the end-game instances do quite a bit of tactical damage.  So, if you’re already close to the melee defense cap (not hard to do) increasing your tactical damage mitigation may be more valuable.  However, it is also mentioned that Graalx2 has posted that higher level mobs (like those in end-game instances) do have higher mitigation caps so going above the cap isn’t a total waste.  I’m still not sure which way I’m going, but it is something I”m kicking around.

Along those same lines, there’s a similar discussion with regards to our various carvings, which again basically discusses the same idea – which is better over-capping melee, or boosting tactical.

Wrapping up my news updates are a couple posts on traits.  This is another area I”m still toying with but I wanted to share some of the ideas I was kicking around.  This first post is regarding which virtues to slot and what the benefits of them are.  I still think I’m pretty well set on my top 3 or 4 slots, but those last couple are the ones I’m toying with the most.

I’m still slotted full way of the shied as a bit of an experiment which I’m still on the fence about.  I like the added healing, but I do know I’m losing some damage output and I’m not sure I like that for soloing.  But anyway, an interesting build has been kicked around which I thought I’d post as it does have some interesting applications.  The idea behind it is to slow full fist line for the added fears and interrupt opportunities.  Certainly helpful in some instances, but I can also see it helping out in soloing as well.  Check out the thread on the

forums as it is worth a read.

I should have another post out today as a more general update, but figured I”d get some of these thoughts and ideas out to share.

Cstats take 2

Ok, so I realized what I was doing wrong and why my DPS numbers from yesterday were off.  If you don’t run Cstats while playing, it has no concept of time and is just crunching on pure damage (still helpful, don’t get me wrong) but I wanted to get some more comparable numbers so I ran it again.  So the workflow is similar to what I said yesterday, but once you turn on the combat tab logging you then need to alt-tab to cstats and start parsing.  Then return to LOTRO and fight stuff.

So the snap below shows me checking out my archer DPS – notice each “encounter” has a separate folder so it will show all the mobs you fought during that section of combat.  As you can see my archer is at least better then the mobs, but still no where near my DPS – which is fine as she’s still pretty weak.  The batch there under Moria is another log file that I opened such that I could easily compare Tier 1 skirmishes to Tier 2 and now that I can see DPS it is very clear that for Tier 2 mine decrease and the mobs increase.

Tier 1 log DPS

Drilling down to my section you’ll see a similar breakdown as what I showed yesterday.

Detailed Tier 1 DPS

I also used this to do a comparison on my Level 65 3rd age vs my Level 60 1st age and pretty much proved to myself that yes I need to switch to a 3rd age.  My damage is at least 10% higher with the 3rd age even though I don’t have all the same damage legacies.  Plus with the added runes I will have a much higher crit as well.  I probably won’t switch my javelin out yet as I don’t use that nearly as much nor have I found one anywhere as good.