Archive for October, 2011

Lore-mastery: Tackling Draigoch

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Well, Draigoch seems to be the topic of the week so I thought I’d chime in with a guide to the fight from a lore-master’s perspective. While my raid group hasn’t managed to get beyond phase 2 yet, mainly because we haven’t really been able to put much time into it with organisational difficulties, I’ve got enough of an impression of the fight from what I’ve seen and reading other guides that I think I can offer some useful tips. This guide will mainly be focussed on preparation and characacter build, because quite frankly the fight itself is pretty boring mechanically. As long as you can follow your DPS group positioning leader and can hit FM buttons correctly, there’s really not much you need to be doing outside of your standard debuff/DPS/spot-heal/power-share role.

Class traits

Typically LMs have a guaranteed spot in a raid for one of three reasons. Either there’s a huge amount of cc or specialised cc needed (think Gortheron, most of the trash in OD, Blind One, Mistress), there’s bosses that hit like trucks and need to be constantly debuffed (Ivar, Durhcest, Watcher) or the fight’s a long endurance fight where you have an invaluable power sharing role (Durin’s Bane, Lieutenant). While it’s rarely optimal to take a second LM in a raid if you have a choice about class makeup, in basically all previous raids LMs have filled an important and almost irreplaceable role in the raid group. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with Draigoch.

Initially I thought this was going to be a fight full of big AOE tactical damage and lots of nasty fire attacks. I was fully expecting the new improved frost lore trait to get a good work out and thought LMs would have a really important role in bringing a unique and powerfull debuff to the table to save the tank and the group from getting roasted. I was wrong. The vast majority of tank and raid damage in this fight is common damage and, with the exception of the rear right claw (bottom left) which, in the first two phases at least, seems to do an extraordinarily high number of dev crits (is it bugged? it’s way out of line with the others), the damage levels really aren’t anything to worry about. Apart from a bit of stress with that bottom right claw, our group was having no problems keeping up with claw damage with just one RK healer and a blue-line cappy. I’ve heard things get a little bit heavier in phase 3, but from all accounts, LM debuffs are not absolutely essential. In addition, for a single boss fight that lasts upwards of an hour, you’d have thought that power sharing might be fairly useful. But the group spends so much time out of combat that it’s essentially irrelevant. And there’s absolutely no CC needed as you’d expect from a lair raid.

Bog Lurker v Dragon

So does this mean LMs are completely useless? Not at all. It just means we need to get a bit creative with our utility. A key part of this fight is FMs and LMs are one of four classes that have the ability to proc FMs, by traiting full blue and using the bog-lurker pet. If you’re lucky enough to be in a raid group that has two burgs then you’re probably going to be able to pop a FM on demand at every opportunity anyway, but if you’re running with just one or (shudder) no burgs (as our group has been forced to a couple of times), then the bog lurker can add valuable FM proccing chance on top of whatever else you can bring. At face value, it’s only a 20% chance on 1min cooldown, but don’t forget that pet skill cooldowns are reset when you resummon and if you’re bringing the bog-lurker, you can dismiss your pet and use combat summoning to get him back once every 5min. So the bog lurker gives you at least two 20% chances of proccing a FM in most of the body/FM phases. Just remember to turn root strike off autocast and only use it when the body isn’t FM immune and a burg isn’t lining up a guaranteed proc FM.

And it just so happens that going full blue isn’t a bad option for the fight anyway, especially if you’re 2-healing it (1 healer with the tank up top and 1 with the group). My recommended traits would be blue capstone and noble savage for legendaries. Class traits should be healer, Light of Hope, Improved Flanking, Improved Inner Flame and either Master of Beasts or Hardy Companion (i’d recommend the former). Coupled with master of the staff and harmony with nature you still do quite respectable single target damage – I was parsing 550-600dps against the claws quite easily in between debuffing and spot healing. Your extra healing ability can come in handy too. Stick continual air lore on whoever in your group is most squishy, and use improved inner flame if the group damage is getting too much (eg. during a cave in). Another interesting thing you can do is use the Limfrain for the final phase. As I said, I’ve heard that group damage is ramping up a bit in this phase and the whole group’s DPS will be greatly boosted thanks to all of the disabling FMs. High group damage + boosted group DPS means that the pseudo-revealing mark from the Limfrain can do a whole lot of raid-wide healing. And you can use its sacrifice and resummon it once every 5min.

Of course, if your group is totally rocking the fight and doesn’t need any extra off-healing from you, you could just go full red line and burn stuff. But I do encourage you to do some personal parses and experiment a bit if you do this. I haven’t been able to do decent testing at level 75 (the training dummies in Galtrev are USELESS because they periodically kick you out of combat and wipe all DOTs), but at level 65 at least the DPS gap between full red and full blue, using staff strike on flanked effects religiously, was actually not as big as you might think in sustained single target fights. And if you’re doing even some spot healing and power sharing, the gap would be even lower. So don’t dismiss blue-line as a potential DPS option, especialy if you use another pet boosting trait instead of, say, improved inner flame.

There is a bit of confusion going around about the causes of Draigoch bugging out and pets have been fingered as a likely cuplrit. As best as I can tell, as long as your pet doesn’t get aggro on any part of the dragon then you’ll be fine. Certainly in my hours in there, our group has never had an issue with it bugging out despite me using my pet EXCEPT on one occasion when we had a second LM who sent his eagle in to attack the head before the tank had grabbed aggro, and it bugged out then. So unless I discover otherwise, I’m going to assume that pets are fine if you control them carefuly.

Equipment and virtues


I’m going to sound like the (rightly) maligned official guide here – wear your T1 armour set and boost your will!

Acutally, it’s not that simple. If you’re traiting blue, you absolutely want to wear at least 3 pieces of the set to get 100% ancient craft uptime. But until you get your 5th piece, which also has another great group-DPS buff, you’re possibly better off wearing something that’s a little less glass cannon than the 122 will/61 fate raid set pieces. The Leecher Cartwell Shoes from the Helegrod Spider wing are an excellent substitue for the raid shoes, swapping 61 vit for 61 fate (you’ll lose 300 tac offence/OHR from the 4 piece set bonus, but the extra 180 morale is better here imo). Also keep an eye out for the Drugoth Clasped Cloak from Helegrod Giants (122 will/61 vit) and pick up a few survivability jewelery pieces such as the crafted Fated Theodred Necklace, Earring of the Mathom Tender (Enguilan campaign), The Brown Wizard’s Band (Eruilan/Enguilan campaign) and Cardolan Plague Doctor’s Ring (Helegrod Spiders) to get you up to about 6500-7000 morale unbuffed. After that, just pump will and fate and relevant secondary stats.

I’ll also endorse at least some of the official guide’s suggestions on Virtues. Zeal, which combines a big chunk of morale with some physical mit, is a no brainer and so is Wisdom. Beyond that, any 3 of Compassion (physical mit), Innocence (Physical mit), Idealism (Fate), Valour (Morale) or Justice (Morale/ICMR) will serve you fine.

Anyway, I wish you luck in killing the big beast and have fun!

 

Well Written and Helpful Draigoch Guide

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beardy

A day after Turbine’s “Guide,” TenTonHammer put out a guide like one could hope for – an actual guide that walks through the fight and helps folks prepare for it.

The guide walks through many aspects that you’ll need to handle as you try to take down the big guy:

  • Quest chain to get access to the lair
  • Preparation
    • Consumables needed
    • Defenses needed, tactical helps but mostly physical damage
    • Non-combat regen important
  • Group makeup, pretty flexible but some requirements
    • Hunters for run buffs
    • Burglar for Fellowship Maneuvers
    • lots of dps :)
  • Positioning, with detailed pictures
  • Phase one walkthrough
  • Fellowship Maneuvers
  • Phase 2
  • Phase 3
  • Loot!

Overall this is a pretty good guide although it is quite laden with spoilers :), which isn’t a bad thing but just wanted to warn folks.

Also, for those looking for other tips there are a couple of forum threads on this:

And if you digest information better visually as opposed to written, there are a number of videos posted, included these mentioned in the forums.

 

LOTRO Draigoch “Guide” Rant

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Normally I’m a pretty big fan of the things Turbine puts out and am generally not too bothered by the LOTRO store, however this last “guide” from Turbine really annoyed me.  I’m sure you’ve all seen mention of it as it was blasted out to everyone as part of their normal email communications.  It wasn’t until we started chatting about it on twitter that I really started to realize why it was bugging me so much and decided to rant about it a bit.

The guide starts off with some actual decent spoiler free tips, so I thought this would be good.  But then it derails quickly into a bunch of store items that can help with your fight without any mention of the fact that many have craftable equivalents.  I don’t have a problem with talking about the store, but when that becomes the focus of the article, it really rubs me the wrong way as it makes it seem like Turbine wants you to believe you need these items to succeed in the raid.

They then make class equipment suggestions, which are utterly pointless as they suggest your class raid set.  Really, they needed to tell people that the new armor set they put in game might be a good idea for the raid?

The class stat suggestions are a bit of a mixed bag as at least they recommend things like tanks having ~12K morale, but for the most part it is just “max out your primary stat.”

The part that really bugged me was the horrible suggestions for Virtues as they list Justice and Valour as the top 2 for EVERY class.  I’m pretty sure no one has slotted Justice since SoA days, and most have dumped Valour since RoI.  All the recommendations are focused on stats with no mention of mitigations or resistances.

What this really comes down to for me is this article comes across as something put together by the PR folks and not someone like Orion or JWBarry, who actually know how the game works.  Or hey, here’s another shocker – why not have someone from the community help make suggestions for the guide?  Even making small changes like suggestion Morale or Finesse levels for the various classes, including healers would’ve been very helpful and give this guide marginal value.

I was initially intrigued to see what kinds of suggestions they’d have, but this just smacked of a shameless store plug.  I’m not sure that’s really something Turbine needs when they’re having all their other player confidence issues.  Not only was there the HUGE store focus, but it contained either information anyone would know or just flat out wrong suggestion.  My recommendation for folks is to basically ignore their tips, unless you find the need to blow through some Turbine Points and are lacking in things to buy.

 

Interesting LOTRO Lottery News

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A couple of recent posts by Sapience point to some new cool toys coming out in the Lotteries.  A new lottery is currently running for a new kind of emote – horse emotes!

In addition to the horse emotes, Sapience also chimed in on a pretty big (10 pages) thread on what the community would like to see from the lotteries.  He points out the following:

  • They’ve added over 250 new items to lotteries based on the thread
    • I’ve noticed Turbine points as an item
  • They’re intrigued by lottery exclusive items, but currently can only do items currently in game or the store
  • Account level items CANNOT be included in lotteries
  • There’s usually a couple week lag between when the item comes into the game and when it is available as a lottery
  • The system is meant to be fun, not an alternate way to get rare items.

I’ve really enjoyed the system, and if only the overall site wasn’t as wonky as it is this would be a much more painless process.

 

The Secret World News Re-cap

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I’ll have to admit I’ve been a bit lax of late keeping pace with things in The Secret World, so this is a bit of a make-up post.  Many of the items aren’t breaking news but I at least wanted to add a comment or two on them.

Being a little biased as a Templar, I will start off with the news surrounding that society first :)  Two sites have given a re-cap of the starting sequence for the Templars, which is quite welcome to include more of the starting storylines for all of the societies.  Rock, Paper, Shotgun (abbreviated by me as RPS) gives a more detailed recounting of the story of the introduction to the society but VG24/7.com gives a little more overall review of the same footage.  I like the weaving of cut-scenes and live action as part of the story, I’m just hoping it doesn’t get too distracting by being constantly pulled back and forth.  RPS does “spoil” the story behind the Tokyo Flashback mission we saw from Comiccon that Ragnar wasn’t will to share just then – so be warned if you want to be surprised.  Also interesting in the RPS article was the mention of attack mechanics in that there will be cone AoE attacks (shotgun for example), normal MMO line of sight attacks (assuming handguns), but also “tracking” magical attacks that will hunt you down.  Pretty nifty idea for combat, and its nice to see that they’re taking the engine they’re using for Age of Conan and building on top of it to bring even cooler things!

The article on VG247.com does touch on the Templar story, but then also focuses on things like grinding and combat.  Which while not entirely new, it does give another perception of how these traditional mechanics will work in The Secret World.

If you want a voice-over of some of these ideas, sadly without game footage, you can check out the video below with a couple of the Funcom Developers:

The other news of late was the announcement that Funcom has over 500,000 registered for Beta, which I’m not real sure what it actually means for the game.  It isn’t a huge number like what you see getting tossed around for SW:TOR but it also isn’t an insignificant amount considering how far we are from launch and how little publicity the game is getting.  Certainly we all love to play the numbers game but I think this number will grow as we get closer and the timing of the launch should be pretty good as it will come as some inevitably get worn out from SW:TOR.  I still think this will be a niche MMO, but there’s nothing wrong with that and I could easily see it hovering around the 1 million mark.  I’m typically not one to jump all over numbers, but I do find it interesting to see what numbers companies release and when they do.

I will have another post up on the Facebook Q&A, but until then just a friendly reminder that I will be recording Episode 4 of The Secret War Podcast this evening at 11:30 PM Eastern over on MMO Reporter, come join the fun!

 
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