Tag Archives: screenshots

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.

I’ve Crossed Over to the Dark Side


No, I’m not playing WoW (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I realized as I’ve had no motivation to play my Runekeeper that I’m really just more into melee classes.  After all the ribbing and trashing I’ve given Champions I figured I should give them a fair shake and actually play the class.  Plus I haven’t been through the starter zones in a while so I figured it would be good to check them out again since all the revamps.  If I had known we were so close to the F2P launch I might have waited until then, but oh well I’m too hooked now to go back.

Below is a shot of me warming up in Trestlebridge in my new level 18 heavy armor.  As an aside, I don’t remember it looking as good when I leveled my Captain but maybe it just shows that I prefer looking at females.

Why doesn't the Grocer have Marshmallows?

I’ve made it pretty much through all the Bree-land content which by far is still my personal favorite starter area.  The zone certainly does flow much better and they’ve eliminated some of the more annoying random out-lying quests.  For instance, tweaking the quest outside of Staddle such that you kill bears for the trader’s item and not neekers is MUCH better.  I always hated that quest as it just didn’t seem to work very well in the general flow, but there were a number of other similar quests that were tweaked as well.  The Barrow Downs stuff seemed to work much better as you didn’t have to run around to find the quest-givers not to mention that you don’t have to run back to Bree to turn-in.  The quest givers in general are all in much better locations and definitely vector MUCH better then they used to.  I found myself wondering at various times when I would go to a particular zone, and sure enough in a few quests I would get sent that way.  Even with the changes, my general approach to Bree really hasn’t changed.  I go through and do every quest there except for the Old Forest – not because I don’t like the area, as it is one of my favorites, it just takes a while to do and overlaps level wise with some of the other areas.  I like the new change to the “go see so and so somewhere far off quests” as they now also offer a return port to where you started from.  This allows you to go to that far off place, grab one quest there as a place-holder such that you know what level range that area is.  I know there are lots of resources out there (like MMorsel’s Level Chart), but having it in your quest log is a pretty good reminder.  The re-working of the quest lines to remove fellowship quests is nice while you’re playing like I am but I’ll admit I’m not sure it is good to have the Great Barrows as the only fellowship quest.

As of now, I’m about mid-way through 21 and am probably going to do some of the Trestlebridge quests as those are level 21s while the Epic line and Forsaken Inn quests are level 22.  So I probably will be bouncing back and forth but since I’m mapped in Bree (where you need to go to train) I think it won’t be too bad.  I’m probably going to continue to proceed through the Lone Lands and North Downs in this fashion such that I can maximize the experience and not get burnt out in either zone.  I’ll be curious to see how far into the 30s this will get me as I know there are some tough level pockets in there.  However, with the Champ being pretty DPS heavy, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to do some of the higher level quests such that I can jump up to a zone even if I’m not quite at the right level.  One thing I’m haven’t done on this toon is crafting as I just wanted to focus on actually playing the class.  But maybe I’ll change my mind and pick up the Armsman profession (that would be the logical thing to do) or possibly a Scholar (but that sounds painful).  Having high-level alts I can pretty easily purchase mats off the AH so it wouldn’t be nearly as painful of a grind, but we shall see.

As for Champion class, I have to admit I’m really enjoying it.  Granted, in the teens all classes are fun to play but I think the Champ better fits what I enjoy.  I imagine that I’ll be playing my Champ similar to my Warden in that I try to grab as much as I can and pray I can survive 🙂  That certainly does get me into a bit of trouble as Champs are a tad squishy, especially in medium armor, without much in the way of oh-crap buttons.  I expect on-average the Champ will be faster in this methodology then the Warden, but I will have higher repair bills (and more travel time) as I will die often I’m sure.  I have no idea when I died first, but I have quite a few times which hasn’t been a big deal as I usually out level my gear before I need to repair it.  For the most part, I’ve been focusing on trying to build Fervour up before AoE’ing as that way I can get my self-heal off if I need to.  I not using the skill that adds 3 Pips up front as I’m thinking it is better to save that for when I need it, but maybe that’s a bad idea.  Mostly I’ve been running in Fervour stance, but I’m starting to play more in Ardour as it seems to be more survivable for my style.  I’ve mainly been dual-wielding as I’ve always liked the look of that fighting style, plus I do have my Captain if I feel the need to wield a big stick 😉  After hitting 20, I’ve noticed it is a bit easier as I can better pull with the bow as opposed to body pulling everything since you can’t control adds nearly as well that way.  This is my first DPS class I’ve played in an MMO so I’ll be curious to see how I enjoy it, and if my Warden experience is any indication (that was my first tank) I may have opened up a whole new can of alt-aholic worms 🙂

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the class, so I haven’t yet set up my Strategic Commander for it but once I get that rolling I’m sure I’ll have a much better rotation going and use more of my skills.  I notice I have a hard time using everything on my tool-bar as I really struggle finding things unless I get used to where they are.  For those who are curious, the Strategic Commander is a left-handed mouse that has programmable buttons on it.  I don’t use it for macros (although it can) I just use it as a more convenient way to use skills and movement controls.

As for gear, I did craft myself a set of Heavy Armor that I could wear when I hit 20, and I have another in my vault for when I hit 22 as I’ve heard (and can appreciate) that gear makes a pretty big difference for a Champ and especially with my kamikaze attitude.  I haven’t been worried about trying to crit on the armor, but I’m sure when I get into my 40s and 50s I will start to care.  Around that same time is when I’ll start out-fitting her with better jewelry and cloaks as I have Guilded SMs in those professions.  I’ll probably start to stock-pile some of the guild items such that I can have some critted sets all ready to go.  I don’t have a weaponsmith (or a woodworker) but I’m not too terribly worried about it quite yet as I’ve been able to find some reasonable things off the AH.  And I do know a few so when I get higher I can bug them for stuff.  I haven’t really decided what weapons I’m going to shoot for long term but I really like axes and I’m thinking a main hand spear with an axe off-hand would be cool, but perhaps sword and axe is the best combo.  I know I do need to pick up a horn and a rune, I just haven’t had a chance to find one on the AH or have someone make me one.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to bring this character up to the level cap, so you’ll be hearing a bit more about Champions as I progress, and certainly feel free to toss out pointers!  I did pick up some good tips from Merric in this post and discussion but I know I have lots to learn.  And don’t worry, I’m not shelving my other 65s I just haven’t had as much night-time availability for un-interrupted group play and there’s only so many dailies and skirmishes I can do, even though my Captain does still need quite a bit of work…

New Treasure Category on the Classic Skirmish Vendors


I saw a thread on the Minstrel Board about these new items and figured I’d go check them out.  The way it works is that each instance “cluster” now has a Treasure category for it that has various weapons, shields, and jewelry available for barter.  I’m a bit torn by this honestly as I do like the chance of randomness in instances but this does give a reliable way to achieve what you’re looking for.  For the most part, I’m ok with this split implementation they’re rolling out with F2P in that the current instances will be “random” and the level scaled instances will be more deterministic in their loot.  The other nice thing about this implementation is that you do have a list of what’s available as opposed to wondering if/where something drops.

There’s a bunch of drops there, so I’m just going to post some of the higher end gear.  I’m also not posting the various weapons as honestly I just don’t know if they’re viable compared to others since I haven’t looked at off-hand items at all.  I’ll have to do some more checking on the comparisons to my current gear but there are some nifty items.

The other cool thing is that they’re adding in the resist potions and food that were previously only available as a one-time quest reward for various Helegrod instances.  I always saved these as I figured there’d be a good time to use them, but currently you can only get a fixed amount and they’re BOA.

Annuminas

Mirhigil – Necklace – intriguing for a melee class

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Golden Spear-Head – Pocket  – Attack and Resist boosts

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Feredilloch – Earring – interesting item, not sure who this would fit

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Silver-Strand Necklace – another decent melee class item

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Armband of Giants – struggling with this one, might be a tank or Minstrel item

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Ring of Fulfillment – Looks nifty for a moors MinstrelScreenShot00435

Wall of Annuminas – I know little about heavy shields but the 805 Morale heal looks handy

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Arastan – Medium Shield – Nice ICPR and some other interesting stat bumps

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Flame-Ward Shield – Warden Shield – No ICPR but some other nice stat bonuses

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Eregion

Mentors Earring – A highly desired earring for many classes because of the crit boosts.

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Tattered Bookmark – Interesting pocket with Fate and Resists.

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Beaded Gemstone Bracelet – Nice tank bracelet but lacking ICPR.

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There are also barter options for some of the housing cosmetic drops.

Helegrod

Skull of Thorog – HUGE housing item that I’ll admit I can’t wait to get – it is expensive though 🙂

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Necklace of the Worm – Intriguing for a tank but probably a hefty morale hit

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Cold-Bear’s Canine – Pocket – pretty nice for a caster type

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Cold-Bear’s Claw – Pocket – maybe for a hunter or RK

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Daeramath – Warden’s Shield – not too shabby of a shield

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Stoutwall – Heavy Shield – Again, I don’t know much about heavy shields but the common damage negation is always nice

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Beta Event and Instance Join


This week a bunch of my playtime was actually over on Bullroarer and I enjoyed it quite a bit for a number of reasons.  I did get in a partial DN run on my Warden but that was relatively routine.

First up was the Beta Stress test on Wednesday which after some initial bumps got off to a pretty decent start.  A bunch of us were chatting over Twitter so we were able to join up in game.  This was pretty fun as I got a chance to run around with folks I don’t normally get to play with but talk with frequently.  They briefly pulled the servers down but only for a few minutes and then left them up for the duration of the event.  Nothing too interactive from the devs as I think they were mainly trying to stress test the store and work any of the kinks out of that.  It does seem like they’ve worked some things out as it does seem to be more responsive and a bit smoother, but I still think there’s some work to be done.  One very cool thing they were testing out was the “Ripcord” capability which allows Turbine disable all Lua scripts globally from the server side.  This allows them to maintain control and quickly disable things if they find a loophole or some undesirable script floating around.

After some of the “scheduled” stuff, the group of us just roamed around Enedwaith for a bit checking out the areas.

lotroclient 2010-08-11 21-45-33-76 lotroclient 2010-08-11 21-43-50-08

I took some screenshots and managed to do a little building climbing as well.

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One thing I thought was pretty cool is they finally found a home for the old crystal dwarf instances that were pulled from Moria!

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I always thought those were cool spaces so I was happy to see them back in.  Also, I tried to get a decent shot of the new drakes as those are some pretty cool looking monsters!

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Then last night I joined some of the folks from the LOTRO Reporter Network and we ended up running the new Great Barrows instance.  We started it more or less on level with the 5 of us between levels 20 and 30.  Since we only had 5 we tried dialing it down a couple levels but did struggle a little bit until we brought in a couple big toons to just finish it off.  I really enjoyed the new layout of the zone and thought it was a much smoother play through.  Sadly my hard drive was having some issues and I ended up losing the Fraps capture of the run.  The Instance Join functionality is incredibly convenient as you jump right to the instance and return right back to where you joined the instance from.  Also, we only made it through 1 wing of the instance and I had enough of the special skirmish marks to get 1.5 pieces of the armor, so it seems like getting the armor won’t take too many runs through the instance.  And I’ll admit I might have missed some of the loot as I was mainly just enjoying the instance.  However, playing with folks on Bullroarer really makes me want to have cross-server instance join!

New Minstrel Armor Set Data


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.

Light Annuminas

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Minstrel Helegrod

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Examples of the Lua Scripting Plugins


I played around quite a bit with the Lua Plugins during beta and I wanted to share some of the plugins that I really enjoyed.  I also suggest checking out the LOTRO Plugins site and keep your eye on the LOTRO Interface site for more details on the plugins and some help in how to actually script using Lua.  I will admit I didn’t write any plugins I just used them and tested them out.

Here’s a screenshot of my listing of the plugins I played around with:

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A favorite for all you Wardens (and Hunters) who hate taking quickslots up with travel options, look at the right side of this shot:

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It takes all the ports, maps, etc. and puts them on a scroll bar such that you can just select the one you want and use it instead of having all of them loaded.

I’m a bit on the fence about the bag-space options, but certainly I like the option to set them up in different ways.  Check out the before and after:

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However, by far my favorite ones are the Plugins that allow you to re-orient how your vitals display looks.  In the below shots, just focus on the area at the center of the screen and not the Warden wheel section, I’ll get to that.  The area at the center is actually 2 plugins, Palantir and FX – FX is just the horizontal bar and Palantir is everything else.

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Palantir puts up the big morale and power bars which for me are much easier to look at then the normal display.  It also has boxes at the bottom which light up when hit by a fear, poison, wound, or disease.  The FX Bar is a nicer customizable display of all buffs and de-buffs on your character.  The nicest thing for me is the “wheel” count-down that graphically shows how much time said effect has before it wears off.  I absolutely LOVE this as it REALLY helps know when things are coming on and off.  The top of the bar shows all the buffs I have up and the bottom any debuffs.  Another nice option is shown off below in that you can select buffs/debuffs and have them show bigger whenever that same effect comes up again as shown in this shot below:

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You can see these in action in this quick video I took:

As for the Warden Trainer, it is a cool little script where you can right click and get a list of the gambits and it will populate the bar with the correct builders.  I can see that really helping folks out in learning the gambits or if there’s one critical gambit you always forget.  The gambit loaded below is Mighty Blow.

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Beta Armor Snapshots


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:

MediumAnnuminas

Heavy Annuminas Set:

HeavyAnnuminas

Warden Helegrod

WardenHele

Captain Helegrod:

CaptainHele

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