Tag Archives: virtues

Captains Roundtable Live Tonight!


In case you missed the post from a Casual Stroll to Mordor I will be participating in another roundtable tonight, this time focusing on Captains. If you can join us live at 9pm Eastern (-5GMT) there will be a live chat room where you can participate.  The link for the chat room information is either on CStM’s live page or on the LOTRO Network. Or you can feel free to post questions here or on their thread, or email one of us if you have specific questions or topics you’d like us to cover.  It will be a similar format to the Warden roundtable.

And if you can’t make it live, we’ll both be posting when it it released.

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My Minstrel Takes on the Death from Below Mirkwood Instance


After reading this thread over on Casual Stroll to Mordor I figured that not only would I run this to make sure I still could do it, but record it, and post about it.

For those of you who haven’t run this instance, it is a solo quest out of the later Mirkwood quest zones Thangulhad.  One of the draws of this quest is that it is one of the few (I mainly just do 2 of the dailies) that rewards the Gold Star Emblems.  Check out Chordian.net for what you can use these for, but mainly the Horse, Port, and Legendary item stuff including the Scroll of Delving which adds 10 levels to your legendary item.  I actually will grab this quest and the one for the black badges of dishonor as I find usually I can get the 5 badges I need while finishing up the instance.  That way I can get my 2 Gold Star Emblems and Item XP all in one shot.

In this quest you are proceeding with 2 dwarves trying to seal up an area that the goblins are using to possibly penetrate and harass the various Mirkwood camps.  And of course, both of these dwarves need to survive in order for you to complete the quest.  Because of the escorts and the number of mobs, this is usually viewed as on of the tougher solo instances in the game and pretty darn hard on certain classes.

This is a pretty fast paced quest without much time to catch your breath, there are a couple of 2-mob pulls but then a couple with multiple normal mobs and a signature, followed by another wave of a couple of normals.  So for me, one of the keys is liberal use of food to not only keep you alive while fighting but also boost your out-of-combat regeneration rates such that you can quickly recover for the next wave.

For the most part, I follow a lot of what’s mentioned in the post I linked above with the exception of a couple class traits.  I’m slotted fully down the Warrior Skald path and I also slot Glorious Anthem and Battle Hymn.  This not only makes my anthems last for 45 seconds but the Anthem of Valar does its normal very nice AoE damage plus applies the massive in-combat Morale regeneration buff that’s usually just tied to Anthem of the Free Peoples.  With this buff up, I can pretty much stay in the thick of the battle by using the occasional potions.  I’ll try to let the dwarves grab one or two mobs, but in general  I just tend to AoE everything and pull them out of the fire.

Take a look at my recording of this instance, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions on it.  You can also check out my minstrels page over on My.Lotro if you’re curious about my equipment, and the other stat of interest probably is that my ICPR sits at 1073 currently and for DPS I use the bagpipes :).

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Warden Roundtable


As I mentioned a week or so ago I participated on the Casual Stroll to Mordor’s podcast as part of their class roundtables, this one focused on the Warden class. I will admit it is a bit of a long episode (tad over 2 hours) but it was fun to not only have my thoughts but a couple other very good Wardens as well.  Both Azz and Ryodor play the class slightly differently then me and have different experiences so it is a nice diversion from my ramblings.

For those of you looking to pick up additional tricks or are just starting out with the class I’d strongly suggest taking a listen.

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Thoughts and Speculation on the Fall Updates


So I’ve taken some time to read over the posts I mentioned the other day and instead of summarizing I thought I’d cherry pick a bit and talk about my thoughts on what we know and what I think might happen going forward.

So lets start with Enedwaith, which as I learn more about I’m getting pretty excited about it.  The map below (from the Massively article)

does show off a pretty fun looking zone and since we know the zone is bigger then the North Downs that’s quite a bit of content.  From this image (assuming its correct) not only is it a big area it is also quite diverse and should prove to be a nice change from the dreariness of Mirkwood.  Sure it is level 62-65 content but there will be stuff to do for us 65s and it will also provide an alternate leveling path.  Now there is some debate on the new dungeons or skirmishes, either way it should prove interesting.  Honestly I’m hoping it is dungeons very similar to how they did book 8 of Volume 2 with a couple of 3-man instances as part of the epic line and maybe a skirmish or two.  Especially if they can provide some good rewards for the instances such that they provide repeatable content.  Shockingly I’m actually looking forward to another reputation faction to work towards as I really do enjoy the rewards they’ve been providing of late.  My main hope is that there’s some more crafting options like the massive update with Mirkwood that not only provide cosmetic value but true end-game value as well.

Possibly the most exciting news from my perspective is the scaling instances as this not only gives us more content but it sheds some light on the new technology coming down the pipe.  I’m not sure how this will work and am so waiting for JWBarry’s “Novel” on these changes (he was quite integral in the skirmish system).  And in case you missed the update, these won’t scale by people just the level – so you’ll still need the same number of players but can scale things to different levels.  So you could run Fornost scaled up to level 65, but it would still require 6 people – I’m just using Fornost as an example as I know many don’t do this instance and would personally love to go back in there.  I have no clue how they’re going to handle loot from these “scaled” instances but I think there are all sorts of options.  They could just pull the on-level loot table or they could employ the skirmish system in there, or they could go in a totally different direction.  My only request is that for the love of god they don’t implement another barter system 😉

And finally, my thoughts on the Turbine store.  I think the biggest thing here is we really don’t know too much about it yet so I’m really holding my thoughts on it until we see it for real, or at least the developer diaries on it.  I’m trying to not focus on the details but the general concepts, and so far I really like what I see.  Sure there’s lots to be flushed out, but that’s what beta’s for and I’m quite confident things will take shape and work out in the end.  It is a little ironic that I posted on Power Leveling and they shortly afterwards mentioned virtue purchases via the store.  I’m still at tad torn on the whole idea of buying advancement but I think I’m leaning towards the comments the CStM folks had on Episode 42 in that this will help make the folks we group with that much stronger.  Not to mention that I really don’t want to grind valor, zeal, and innocence on my alts 🙂  So yes, the “young kids” might have it easier then use old folks who had to trudge up the hill both ways in the snow to get their deeds done, but I’m quite content to get alts raid ready quicker.  And for me, that’s really what I care about – end-game content and enjoying it, which is not only me playing it but having competent folks to run that content with.  Now yes, this is a bit of a slippery slope but as long as there’s nothing in the store that isn’t available in game, I think I’m ok with it.  Think is probably the key word there as my perception may change as they introduce new things, but I’m basing this solely on deeds.

My final word is for those of you lucky enough to get into the beta, latch on to what you care about and be vocal on the forums.  Also try to see the game from someone who’s never played before as that will really help improve the Turbine Store and all of our enjoyments of the game.  This really needs to be tested from all sorts of angles and play-styles so whatever you enjoy in the game you can contribute to a successful launch.  Oh and whatever you do don’t do something stupid like blab about being in beta – Turbine’s pretty serious about their NDA so don’t talk about stuff from the beta nor tell anyone you’re in the beta.

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Podcast re-cap and updates


The Casual Stroll to Mordor folks have been running a series of class specific round-tables, the first of which being for the Minstrels.  All sorts of good information as they had a good mix of play-styles represented.  So if you’re interested in learning about the class or how to better group with Minstrels it is a great listen.

The second of the classes they’ve covered is the Warden and I had a blast as one of the participants on that episode.  It hasn’t been released, but as soon as it is I will put up the link.  I will admit, in hindsight I might’ve been a tad on the confident (or cocky) side but as a tank I do think you need to have a bit of that mentality.  Again we did have a good mix of playstyles like the Minstrel roundtable so that made for some great discussions.

Both of these round-tables have also been broadcast live on the LOTRO Network (just like the LOTRO Reporter) with a chat room so even if you’re not invited to chat you can still chime in and ask questions or provide additional information.  Plus the chatrooms usually are pretty fun environments 🙂  CStM has usually been posting before they record if they’re doing it live and the LOTRO Reporter folks usually record late Wednesday nights for those of us not on the West coast and announce the start via Twitter.

I also wanted to mention the Through the Palantir folks as they just released the long awaited Moors episode.  I will admit it is a bit of a long episode, but it is SO worth it.  If you have any desire to learn about the Moors or if you’re looking to brush up on it (like me) I highly recommend the episode as they go through the mechanics, landscape, classes, and much more.

And finally there’s another new podcast out there for your listening pleasure.  Sparthir from the LOTRO World blog site has posted his first episode which is available from the site and also from iTunes.  I really do enjoy having multiple casts as everyone has slightly different takes on the game and covers different topics.

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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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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:

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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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