Tag Archives: threat

Fun times in Sammuth Gul

I ended up getting in a late night Sammuth Gul run last night with a couple of friends.  Our group wasn’t quite optimal as we were lacking a traited healer and didn’t have any crowd control.  I think I was more worried about the CC then I was the healing (as you’ll see later on) as the loremasters in there are just downright nasty.  However, we had lots of DPS, and lots of interrupts which made this a fun and exciting run.  I was on my Warden along with a guard, captain, champion, DPS spec’d runekeeper, and a full warrior skald traited minstrel.  The trash really wasn’t too bad as we essentially had 4 off-healers in the group and with all the heavies we had lots of spare morale.  Our Minstrel was able to stay in War-speech for a good deal of the fights and only towards the end or if we got an unlucky pull did he have to drop out.  We had a couple of marathon fights with summoners and unlucky punts onto bone piles, but the ability of our guard to get conjunctions off was key to us being able to move as quickly as we did.

The only part that really worried me was the Gorothol fight as there’s just SO many mobs and things get very crazy in there.  As the adds started to pile up we were able to just grab everything in the middle with the guard and myself trying to grab all the agro and the champ and runekeeper doing as much AoE damage as possible.  Our minnie was watching out for the loremasters to keep them occupied, trying to keep alive, and trying to toss us the occasional heal.  Although, as the following log will show I did a pretty darn good job of keeping myself alive as all the adds are a Warden’s dream 🙂  After a while I think the guard and I had the agro shared pretty well but my morale bar wasn’t moving much at all as I just kept cycling through our life-taps and conviction.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-12-57-17

So over the course of the entire fight, I was healing myself for roughly 100 morale per second 🙂 which surprised me when I looked at it considering I probably wasn’t healing at all for at least the first half or so.  Also, if you look at the breakout of my attacks you’ll see just how much more damage our gambits do versus the builders and has me thinking that I can slow down some and rely more on the masteries to build my gambits to save some power and I won’t sacrifice that much threat or DPS.

CStats 2010-05-26 13-15-26-03

But with critted food and power pots, I actually seemed to be in a better spot then some of the others in our group so that made me happy.  I’ve also noticed that since I have a larger morale pool I can actually drop down enough to use Darkness Before Dawn and not get destroyed.

And finally, we did get a symbol drop, which sadly I did not win, but at least it did go to my friend who hadn’t won one before.

Further BG Information

So like I mentioned in my post last week I’ve been spending quite a bit more time raiding and wanted to share some more observations and some other strategy links.

First up, I did parse our fights from last week using CStats and saw some interesting numbers.  This was from our longest and best attempt at Durchest and I’ll show a couple of snapshots:


Now this only shows the fight from my perspective but it is interesting just how much healing I was able to pump out.  If there’s any disagreement about Warden’s lightening the load on the healers, here’s the proof 🙂  Also notice how damn hard Durchest hits!


This shows all my damage by attack, and the main thing I wanted to point out is how much damage our bleeds can do and also clarify that I don’t actually auto-attack that much it is just the “hidden auto-attack” that ticks despite the animations.


The final snap from the fight shows some stats on Durchest’s attacks, kinda interesting to see how painful those cleaves can be and need to be mitigated as much as possible.

And for those of you trying to learn this raid, check out this long forum thread as there’s lots of good information and annotated snap-shots to help explain what’s going on.  Not that the poster is 100% right on everything (nor does he claim to be) but there’s good discussions about some of the different methodologies.

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My first extended Warden Moors adventure

I wanted to take the opportunity to not only share some of my recent adventures in the Moors but also some tricks and tips from the various other Wardens and Creeps.  I’ve talked about this a couple of times with some other good resources so feel free to check out my October post and the more flushed out February post.  I also wanted to share a couple of more recent forum posts that talk about things from both a Warden’s perspective as well as from the creep side.

First off I figured I talk a little about my adventures last night which allowed me to get almost half-way through rank 3.  I’m still VERY green on my Warden but my initial goal is Rank 4 such that I can get the 30 minute cool-down Moors map.  I don’t always use that map just for the Moors but just to get around as another map/port.  Kinda sad but there are times when even my Warden would like to have other travel options 🙂  Rank 6 is the next milestone as that gets you the pretty blue icon as opposed to the red ones of Rank 1-5, not a big deal but just the next progression.  Rank 6 also is the last requirement for the initial armor set, but I’ll get to that a bit more later.  After that, it will mainly depend on how much I’m enjoying it and what else is available in game as the climb then starts to get pretty steep.  My normal plan in the Moors is just to wander around a bit while solo to see what’s out there and join in a raid if there’s one forming up, but sometimes it is more fun to just roam solo and look for small fights.  But last night I ended up hopping in a group right away as they were just forming up.  I was fortunate to get into a pretty good group (~3 full groups) with a fairly comparable creep side force.  I’m pretty sure the map was mostly red, so we did roam around a bit looking for the action.  We rode around for a bit before confronting them at Tirith Rhaw (TR) which is the eastern keep.  Keep fights in many cases are just as much PvE experiences as they are PvP and as such Wardens really can shine as we can grab all the NPC agro and shield many from the extra attacks.  As we moved in, the creeps pretty quickly left us to reclaim the keep.  We then pressed towards South Tol Ascarnen Bridge (STAB) which is right next to the Elf Camp (EC) and ran smack into the creep raid.  We had a number of good skirmishes with this raid here, on the Tol Ascarnen (TA) side of the bridge as well as the resurrection circle near Lugazag (Lug).  We were very fortunate to have some good leaders and a pretty mixed group with healers, dps, CC, and interrupters.  I think we rolled the creeps a number of times at least with one retreat in there somewhere.  But they were all good fights with sustained battles such that I could really get better accustomed to the different fight options.

My general strategy was to trait fully down the Fist line and get as many DoTs and fears out as possible.  So this meant mainly War-cry (with fear trait slotted) and Desolation whenever in the scrum.  I also kept my eyes on not only our healers to try to protect them but also targeted the creep healers such that I could interrupt them too.  One thing I learned was that it is actually pretty easy to get Ambush off even while not stealthed as you only go into combat when something hits you, not when something gets close.  So, with creative positioning (and a poor rank) I was able to blend in and not be a juicy target such that I could land an ambush.  Certainly having some induction reducing and careful step duration legacies would be real nice but I was pretty happy out there with what I had.  I did pop a few convictions to generally help out as we did only have 2 minnies so I figured I’d help out when folks got low.  But in all honesty, if either side focuses on one target no healing will keep them up without a bubble of some soft.

In all the fighting I really felt MUCH more useful then my Captain (who’s rank 4), which was actually surprising to me.  Unlike Captains which can really only heal, buff, and provide some single target DPS my Warden can:

  • Fear creeps – which prevents most skill usage
  • DoTs (up to 24 seconds in duration) – which prevents many fleeing skills and keeps them in combat
  • Quickly and on-demand interrupt healers
  • Ranged DPS as well as melee range AoE DPS
  • Ranged slow
  • Some spammable group wide healing ability.
  • Pretty well keep myself alive, assuming they’re not focusing on me 🙂

A couple things that I’m toying with on my traits as I’ve had now had a chance to play around a bit is swapping in the shield mastery trait (currently slotted for +1 heal pulses) and also the cool-down reduction for javelin attacks.  I may end up just swapping the javelin cool-down for the heal pulse but I’m worried that might cause problems while out soloing.  I could swap back and forth as I’m not changing legendaries so it won’t be all that expensive but I’m just lazy.

I will also play around with my gear as well as I didn’t wear my normal PvE armor.  I swapped out for the crafted armor items that either negates incoming damage or procs a heal.  I also swapped out for my damage mitigation shield as the fights usually are pretty short so power’s not a huge deal.  I’m still not convinced I have a setup that I like quite yet, but we shall see.

One of the things that was running through my mind while in the Moors was what this does for my character’s progression.  Certainly it is fun and I do enjoy it, but part of my questions I sent to the CStM folks for Pax was addressing this lack of rewards for freep side PvMP play.  You can hear these questions and Sapience’s answer over on CStM’s Interview Podcast. One of my big annoyances has always been the way to acquire the PvMP armor sets as you not only have to acquire the appropriate rank to wear them but you need a bunch of drops from the Delving of Fror PvE raid instance.  Never mind the fact that these sets aren’t all that great stat wise, but I just don’t see why PvP rewards require such a heavy PvE investment.  I’d really love for some other way to obtain the various barter items for these pieces as I’ll be honest the Dark Purple Warden set (seen below) are really cool looking and I’d love to have as a cosmetic item.  It is also dye-able such that you can get a complete black set 🙂


Maybe a tie to the already existing Tokens that can be turned in for chest rewards, or provide something that’s tied to rank ala DAOC in that for each step you make in your PvP rank progression you get “points” that can be used for armor coins.  The other option would be to have things drop from creeps themselves, but I see all sorts of problems there so I’d prefer one of the other options (or I”m sure there are LOTS of better ones on the PvMP forums).

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on this as I progress as well as feedback on how I fair in 1v1 fights.

Getting back into a LOTRO state of mind

I’ve been very distracted this past week, but things are starting to get back more to LOTRO.  Part of my problem in LOTRO has been a lack of motivation as I currently don’t have all that much left to do on my mains.  I know I do have things to do, but without time to raid, I’m not sure it is really worth it.  So I probably will continue on some of those paths but also think about either working on my Captain (level 62) or one of my alts – most likely my Runekeeper.  I have another post in the works on skirmish difficulty that will probably come out in the next day or so as well as my next segment on the LOTRO Reporter covering the Warden’s journey to level 45.

For this post, I mainly wanted to share various links and blogs that I’m come across the past couple of days.

First off is a good detailed walkthrough of the epic quest line in LOTRO up through Volume 2 Book 6.  So if you’re stuck somewhere in the line, or are returning to Volume one and want a recap of what’s happened I’d suggest a read as certainly the story is one of the best parts of the epic line.

In addition to the epic line, one of my favorite parts about LOTRO is not only is attention to the lore but also the subtle hints that are dropped throughout the game.  There’s a long thread up on the forums (sprinkled with dev postings) talking about the Palantir of Osgiliath and its part in the epic line.  There are some spoilers in there if you haven’t finished Volume 1 book 9 (I believe) but there is some very interesting comments and discussions in there around that very important aspect of the story going forward.

The next 2 posts are concerning the Dol Goldur instances, so if you’re not running those you can skip to the next paragraph 🙂  I have yet to run the BG 12-man raid, but there’s some good discussion on Morgaraf’s agro wipe up on the forums.  I mention the agro wipe here as from what I understand threat management is a big part of BG and needs to be considered not only in this fight but the final boss as well.

Now I have run into this one numerous times, but there’s some good information and discussion about the Sword Halls sorcerer, which is the fire boss with the annoying flame trails that chase you.  Interesting points about the flame mechanic and the ways to interrupt it.

And finally, I wanted to give a shout out to a couple new blogs starting up.  The first being the Uruk Hunter which is a blog started by Saks talking about his journeys through Middle-Earth on the Vilya server.  And second (only because they’re actually a blogging duo) is the Khazad Guard which is a husband and wife alt-aholic duo who chronicle their dwarven adventures.  Fun stuff on both of their sites, so make sure to check them out.

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 😉

Back from a short absence

So real-life has been a bit of a drain lately for me and I’ve been very quiet of late both here on my blog as well as in-game.  It is a combination of a bunch of different things, but much of it will pass here soon.

So to re-cap on a few things, I did want to comment on some LOTRO items and also some non-LOTRO ones that were of interest too.

My in-game activities have been rather enjoyable, just limited after my fun in Volume 3.  I’ve been playing much more on my Minstrel lately and have quite enjoyed not only soloing through content in war-speech but also running the various Mirkwood instances as a healer.  I did notice more of my skills being resisted but really didn’t seem to be too big of a problem, but it was good to see that it has in fact been changed as commented on by CStM and confirmed by the devs on the forums as well.  On a more positive note, I think I’m getting pretty close to having enough tokens for the radiance sets on him but will probably take a few more runs through SG.  My legendary items still need quite a bit of work although I have a couple that are somewhat promising.  I do have some of the legacies that help out on the resists, so I may actually play around with leveling them up instead of just leaving them at rank 1.  Sadly, outside of the Volume 3 activity I really haven’t been on my Warden too much outside of an SG run or two.  She still is 2 pieces from being eligible for BG, so a few more SG runs are in my future.  And for those of you that actually do have your BG armor sets, there will be a change made to the set bonus as commented on the forums.  Essentially the current bonus is broken (not that a 5% chance shield mastery will debuf your target was all that exciting) and will be changed to a 10% chance to provide a 10% melee damage bonus for the Warden.  I’m glad they’re looking at those bonuses and that is a better bonus, but I would’ve loved a 10% threat bonus!

Up on the Warden boards there a pretty detailed discussion on threat. from precise blow and comparing it to damage done.  Essentially numerically comparing how much threat was done to counter a certain amount of damage.  The numbers worked out to about 1750 damage (or ~100DPS, which is pretty darn low) to counter the threat from a single precise blow, which does seem to indicate that you do need to work and continually apply our ToTs to keep ahead of DPS classes.

So many have already commented on this, but I wanted to add my comments on the Quality Assurance Developer Diary which was a good insight to that part of the process.  As I’ve mentioned before, I have been part of a number of the beta tests for Turbine and have worked with a bunch of the QA folks previously so it was good to see them get the attention they deserve.  A good part of it was the discussion of the amount of work required to check out the Volume 1 revamp as part of the latest content update and making sure all classes and levels worked well.  Couple that with the scaling buff with regards to fellowship size and holy cow does that sound like a testing nightmare!  As cool as that jobs sounds, it is hugely unappreciated, and is a TON of work 😉 and this diary gives us some insight into that job.

There was an article over on Massively.com in their continued feature on LOTRO that details the reasons why you should pick LOTRO over other MMOs.  Many the reasons listed are exactly the things I like about LOTRO so it was nice to see that appreciation of those items.  But for me, I think the Community, Lore, and story are the main draws for me and I’m really excited to see where our story goes and how it will be woven in with the lore.

One last thing I wanted to comment on was a post I saw over on MMORPG.com talking about Star Trek Online and their visibility to the developer team.  I found this as a very interesting idea for Cryptic to try and help ease the community as I have heard and read many of the rumblings.  So I applaud them for opening this up to the outside world, but I’d be curious to see how they keep this up to date.  Cryptic basically breaks out the developer activities as items “In Testing” which are about 2 weeks from Live, “Under Investigation” which covers “bug” items they’re still trying to understand, and finally “In Development” which covers new features more then 3 weeks from live.  The MMORPG.com article can be found here which then links to the official STO forums, so we’ll see how this plays out.

Hopefully I should be back on a better schedule here soon, so look forward to more updates.

Monday Forum update

So I wanted to share a few things I found interesting while checking up on the forums over the weekend.

I’ll start off with a really good informational Lore post by Hakon_Stormbrow that shows a timeline of all the lands and kingdoms throughout the history of Middle-Earth.  Pretty helpful as I’m also making my way through the Silmarillion and learning all the early history so seeing how that maps to the “current’ history of LOTRO is quite handy.

I’ll continue first with the warden posts, and then finish with some regarding minstrels.

First off the discussion on which weapon to use – swords or spears.  I personally have always used a spear since it looks cooler and I thought the bleed would counter for any other damage increase obtained from the increased hit chance of the sword.  However, as mentioned in this thread it really ends up being quite close to a mathematical wash.  The general rule seems to be whichever has the better legacies, but that a sword might be better for mobs that are higher levels then you.  But, like many have commented on neither one is substantially better then the other – so just pick which has better legacies or whichever floats your boat. 🙂

The next was a question regarding Adroit Maneuver which is a length 4 gambit that increases our attack speed.  I remember initially thinking this would be a really cool gambit and I did use it frequently but I quickly got over it as I realized Warden’s Triumph (length 5 gambit) hits for more and provides a much better damage buff.  And with good usage of our masteries, weapon speed really doesn’t matter all that much.  And it appears that I’m not alone in this thought process as many on the forums agree that Adroit Maneuver is not worth using at all once you get the length 5 gambits.

For those of you looking to tank the Mirkwood BG raid, there’s some good discussion in this thread regarding some of the issues some have with it and some ideas for mitigating them.  The main issues the poster has are with him dying and not being able to re-establish agro, threat transfers, and the huge hit to ICPR.  All 3 of these issues are actually pretty common in other areas so even if you’re not in BG there’s some good ideas/lessons to be learned from it.  One of the main points that I don’t always remember is that champs have the ability to transfer threat both from them and to them and as such can transfer their threat to you in case you die to help you better catch up.

There also was a little more discussion on the strategies behind soloing sword halls (SH).  There are now 2 posts on this topic the newer one and the original. It is a fun thing to try and play around with, but from a time perspective it is not the most optimal way to farm anything.  SH hard mode is certainly easier and quicker and even the easy mode can be duo’d quite effectively much quicker.  But like many of the posters (and I feel the same way) it is an accomplishment.

Switching gears a bit, there were also some good minstrel posts of late.

This first one has some good general ideas for how to play a minstrel and what to look out for.  The thread hits on a number of topics from skills to equipment to consumables and also includes some advice on traits and virtues.  And there are also some really good links scattered about as well.

For those minstrels out there wondering how much in-combat power regen (ICPR) additional fate will deliver, this thread dives into all the math involved.  Essentially fate provides a flat 1.5 in-combat MORALE regeneration (ICMR) boost for each point of fate, but the power curve is slightly different.  Some were listing a number of 0.6 ICPR, but a more accurate formula appears to be ICPR boost = 30*Fate^0.5, which actually is a boost of roughly 20% that was rolled out with the recent combat revamp.

And for those of you minstrels that are jealous of all the cool things wardens can do solo, a friend of mine posted his epic soloing of the spider Bogbereth.  Granted this is a level 50 mob, but it spawns a TON of adds and back when 50 was the level cap it was initially a raid quest 🙂  I never even thought to try it on a minstrel as I assumed the adds would be too much but it is doable, just make sure to stack ICPR and bring lots of power pots 😉

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.

Warden forums and threat bug confirmation

There’s been a bunch of good discussions as usual up on the warden live boards.  These include some good tactics ideas, gear discussions, and sadly a bug confirmation that hits us pretty hard.

I’ll start right off the bat with the bad news 🙂  It appears that Perceived threat is currently broken as mentioned on this thread, and confirmed by Graalx2.   However, the silver lining is it has been identified and targeted to be fixed – but just sadly not in today’s patch.  What this really means for us is that traiting down the fist line doesn’t help us at all currently.  So, I’m probably going to keep my current 5 Shield spec with the other 2 masteries until this bug has been fixed.

If you’re having problems keeping all your gambits straight, Medouneu from the forums put together a pretty good compilation of all the gambits.  It is a good one-page chart that shows all of them, their respective damages, buffs, threat components, etc in a visual fashion.   For those of you just starting off, I highly recommend it as it is a good visual way of explaining and comparing things.

As you hit level 50 as a warden you unlock the deeds to obtain the gambit masteries which allow you to add two builders to your gambits with one button.  These are incredibly handy as our real strength comes from our gambits, not the builders.  Rainyman on the live forums has posted a good breakdown of how they can be used most effectively.  Not only does he help with how they can be put together, but there’s also some good thoughts in there for opening pulls, DPS rotations, and agro retention.

Every warden who’s done any significant playing has run into our ability to consume power in massive quantities.  DcDistrubed947 on the live boards raises the question and there’s a ton of good info in this 4-page thread.  I’ll try to summarize as best as possible:

  • pace yourself and don’t go all out (this is hard for me at times)
  • use the appropriate carvings
    • they’ll reduce gambit cost by 10%, swap out depending on which line you’re using most
  • Stack ICPR gear, and boosting your will helps your power pool
  • user power pots 🙂 with all the barter/quest options in Moria and Mirkwood they’re really cheap.
  • don’t be afraid to auto-attack every now and then
  • Food is also handy, roll a cook or make friends with one 🙂

Similar to my comparisons of the various armor sets, there has been some activity regarding jewelry.  Hakon_Stormbrow posted on the live boards his spreadsheet listing out all the available jewelry.  It is a heck of a resource and a great way to compare items.  Also on the live boards in some discussion on those items from a warden’s perspective.  A lot of folks like the critted Turtle bracelets, but I much prefer the Aureate ones personally.  However, I do also have a SM jeweler with kindred Lorien and guild reputation so it is quite easy for me to get those.  I also am looking at a couple items from the Mirkwood reputation sets, but haven’t really checked them out as my minnie is still working on his reputation there.  Tanis posted his thoughts, and I really respect his input as he’s put in tons of effort to study and analyze things – if you remember he’s the one who’s done all the analysis on which virtues are best.

The last part here is all about threat and tanking.  I’ll start with the potential “troll” post which luckily started on the warden boards and got some serious responses (ok, there’s some de-railment, but nothing mean).  The topic of discussion is why all the talk about tanks being useless, essentially just let the DPS classes tank and out-heal everything.  This was certainly the preferred method in Moria as most groups were tanking with champs or even hunters!  But with Mirkwood the combination of meaner bosses and trickier instances have brought back the need for a tank.  Yes once you understand things and are running with the same group you can probably run content without a tank and do it faster.  However, my opinion is that while running with a tank may be a bit slower, it will be smoother and more repeatable as well as more flexible in regards to group members.

One of the trickier aspects of tanking is how to handle mobs that you can’t damage – like the brutes in Sammath Gul (SG).  Basically the way the pulls in there work is you’ll get a brute who you can’t damage for a while but still needs to be controlled as he does some nasty damage.  You then need to burn everything else down and before finishing off the brute.  The general idea is to use a combination of war-cry and threat leaches and those will pretty well stick the brutes to you.  Worst case a precise blow or two will guarantee it 😉

And finally, I’m adding a link to the Guard boards as there is some good general information in there with regards to general terms, threat stealing, and group dynamics.  It is from a guard’s perspective so the skills will be a bit different but a lot of the concepts remain the same.

Happy tanking, and enjoy the reads!

Warden starting off the new year

There have been some really good posts and discussion on the forums lately regarding our beloved class.  I’ve replied to some, but not all as there’s some really good wardens there who are much faster to reply 😉  So, in no particular order here’s my re-cap:

There’s a good discussion on some of the math regarding warden threat generation up on the boards as well.  I’m going to try to summarize, but it might be a good one to read through yourself.  I suggest taking a look back as these 2 posts of mine as a refresher if you get lost 🙂 Threat Definitions and Gambits Part 3 – tanking.  The following math equations :

  • The magnitude of threat effects is approximately:
    .5x -Slightly increased threat
    1x -Moderately increased threat
    2x -Increased threat
    3x -Greatly increased threat
  • Total Threat = U(t) + (4 * T(t))
    U = Initial threat magnitude; see gambit tooltips for the listed magnitude of initial threat, and insert the associated value from Graalx2’s list above
    t = equivalent threat generated by damage from a single auto-attack
    4 = this is a constant; per Graalx2 above all threat over time skills have a duration of 4 pulses
    T = threat over time magnitude; see gambit tooltips for the listed magnitude of threat over time, and insert the associated value from Graalx2’s list above

are pretty helpful in understanding the various threat components.  However, there’s some disagreements on the legacy information in this thread and I agree with LagunaD from the forums that we have no quantitative information on threat legacies.  I’ve changed my stance a bit on legacies in that I’m still looking for them but I’m not concerned if they’re all not there.  Pretty much I want at least EoB or War-cry and the rest is gravy.

A usual question that comes up when picking equipment for wardens is always how much ICPR as we are quite the power hogs?  This thread has some good discussion on that topic.  I currently sit at about 1300 in Conservation and also routinely use power pots.  I don’t use them when I’m low, I start with I first use about 800 power, or start to drop below 2000 power.  This way I can try to keep ahead of things and not run completely bone dry.  I will most likely switch shields shortly to the Mirkwood Crafted one which will add another 100 ICPR for me.  I’m pretty much of the opinion that unless you have a pocket LM – if you can increase ICPR without gimping yourself do it.

A question also came up with regards to what attacks do we have that are tactical in their type. Most things we do are melee or ranged, however our heals and taunts are considered tactical and that crit rating will impact their effectiveness.  With that said, I don’t think it is a viable strategy to stat +tactical as usually you’ll have a choice between tactical, melee, and ranged and melee should always be your first choice.   The only exception I could see would be a ranged build for the moors.

From the wardens rock perspective, there’s some good chest thumping over here on soloing sword halls the 3-man Dol Guldur instance.  I have to admit I have tried it a couple of times and am real close.  I will probably try a couple more times after swapping over to the shield capstone line.

Which is a great transition for the next topic on that shield capstone.  I’m not a huge fan of it, but then again I really haven’t tried it.  So as part of my sword halls adventure I will keep it slotted for a bit to see how I like it.  Probably the biggest issue I’ll have is re-learning gambit combos now that I’ll have the shield masteries slotted.  I’ve posted my thoughts on these earlier and I don’t think it has changed too much unless I really love this little experiment I’m going to run.

As you’ve probably noticed I do read the LOTRO boards quite a bit, but mainly I use the various RSS feeds to go through them.  Now granted sometimes I will miss something good from an old thread, but for the most part I’ll subscribe to the ones I think are important.  However, after struggling with the dev tracker feed, Goldenstar from CStM pointed out that there’s a good Yahoo Pipe that helps with those issues.  I’ve made a few pipes, but mainly to do things like strip out adds or merge different feeds into one and strip out duplicates.  But I just recently made one to pretty much search the LOTRO boards for keywords Threat, Agro, Taunt, and tank.  You can check out these two as well as my other pipes at my Yahoo Pipes page. I have one that is titled “LOTRO Threat” which I did yesterday and works well but I also did the “LOTRO Tank” which should work too but I’m not 100% sure it does yet.  Feel free to use the feeds from there, or copy/tweak them as you want.