Archive for May, 2012

NBI Wrap-up and Tools I Use

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nbimedium

I wanted to try to get this post out before things ended, but I’ll sneak it in as a combo post.  Plus I’ll also toss it out as an open question for bloggers and readers on cool tools/apps they use for similar tasks.

First off, I think this was a very cool idea of Syp’s to jump start some folks and also get some new views sprinkling around the web.  He’s put up his own summary of the event as well as the listing of all the new blogs.  I’ve gone through and added some to my reader and plan to revisit to see which ones I’ve missed.  My Reader can never have enough gaming sites to check out Winking smile

I really do hope this has helped not only spur on some new folks but also trigger new ideas for all of us.  I’ve already been kicking around a number of ideas for things to write/talk about as well as some fun projects to tackle.  My lack of writing lately has nothing to do with a lost passion or enjoyment of writing just a combination of a whole host of RL factors that are really kicking my butt lately.  But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I don’t think it’s the on-coming train.

Of all the posts that have come out during this month, one thing I didn’t see too much of were the technical details of how folks blog and I figured I’d toss out some of my favorites and open up the comments for other ideas/suggestions.

  • For my actual writing, I use Windows Live Writer as it just makes laying things out easier and handles all the image uploading for you.  I’m not sure what the future holds as this is being phased out by Microsoft but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it Smile
  • I use Evernote for all sorts of things, but mainly as a note taking tool and web clipper for things I want to come back to.  Very handy as you can sync between machines and devices quite easily.  Great for brainstorming!
  • Most in-game snapshots are fine, but if you want to tweak them I personally use a tool called GIMP that’s an open source package that allows for all sorts of image manipulation while not being terribly complicated.
  • For video editing, I’ve had good success with Avidemux as it again does all that I need it to do without being terribly complex.
  • For all my audio needs (podcasting and video voice-overs) I use Audacity.
  • And last but not least, for video capture I use Fraps.  This is the only tool I use that costs any money, but for a lifetime fee of $35 it is well worth it.

Overall I really try to keep things on the free side, but in some cases that’s just not possible.

Any suggestions or other questions about how I do things from a technical perspective?

 

LOTRO Update 7.1 Official Patch Notes

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In the now normal fashion, Update 7.1 spent barely a week on Bullroarer before going live this morning.   Servers are down until approximately 11AM Eastern time for this update.  Official Patch Notes are also up but in all honesty I didn’t see anything different from what hit Bullroarer.  It has me thinking that they’ve slid all their testing to the left and Bullroarer is purely a “lets make sure nothing goes boom” kinda thing.

One thing that was corrected in the comments is that the changes to the Instance loot are only for the Fornost cluster, and not all scalable instances :(

If nothing else, at least many of the hobbits will get their weight back under control!

 

Update 7.1 hits Bullroarer

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This took a little bit longer then I had expected, especially considering how quick Update 7 came and went from being announced to Live.  There isn’t a ton of excitement here with this one, primarily bug fixes.  One didn’t find its way to the patch notes, but Sapience has confirmed that the Captain Buff Bug will make it into 7.1 but it just didn’t make the notes.

As for the notes themselves, there’s quite a few but only a few jumped out at me:

  • Changes to the currency drop rate:
    • Instance challenges will provide more seals
    • Optional Instance quests will grant substantially more medallions
    • Reduced skirmish mark drops from challenge quests
  • The Gates in the Storm on Methedras Skirmish have been fixed
  • Starlit Crystals are now of Incomparable quality such that they follow “normal” loot rules.
  • Gotta love the last note, essentially the overweight hobbit graphical issue has been resolved.

Nothing super exciting, but always good to see them fixing stuff.  And of course the usual fun stuff in the notes as well Smile

Oh, and in case you missed it – the Spring Festival started today, I don’t believe there’s anything new with the events but of course the new horse and cosmetics I’m sure.

 

Lore-mastery: Virtues guide part 2

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Last week I put together an overview of good virtues for a lore-master to target and a rough guide on how to get 14 ranks of wisdom, valour and zeal. This week I’ll be taking a look at the final 4 virtues that are good for lore-masters, the virtues that give physical mitigation (innocence, compassion) and tactical mitigation (honour and fidelity). These are also good for pretty much every class, so hopefully this guide is of some use to people. In general, you’ll want to be slotting the physical mitigation virtues while soloing or in smaller group content, while honour and fidelity are good raid virtues in a lot of the fights.

Virtue planning guide

I discussed the structure of this guide last week so refer to that for an explanation of the numbers in the table. As with last week, I’ll comment on some of the deeds but I haven’t given a full guide to where to find good concentrations of mobs for the slayer deeds, see the lotro wiki page or Burgzerg for references.

Innocence

Despite being sort-of nerfed with RoI to give a maximum of +756 physical mitigation, rather than the +1000 melee defence that rank 10 gave at level 75, this is still a great virtue to use as it grants both physical mitigation and a small amount of tactical mitigation. Thankfully it’s very easy to rank up (especially for those of us who did Moria before RoI – a number of quests deeds were awarded retrospectively meaning I’ve got mine ranked up to 19!), you only need to do one deed ranked 4+ thanks to an abundance of relatively easy questing and exploration deeds. Among those is unfortunately the most grindy quest deed in the game, for a non-hobbit, but it’s well worth doing 75 quests in the shire for the nice +2 ranks. Of the 4+ deeds, I’d probably recommend the Lothlórien orc slayer, which used to award +2 ranks but only gives one now (I think). The orcs in the camps at the entrance to the zone count and there’s also a huge concentration in the camps west of Cerin Amroth.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Trollshaws Quest Deeds in the Wilderness (10)

1

Moria Quest Water-works quests (15)

1

Moria Quest Great Delving quests (15)

1

Moria Quest Redhorn Lodes quests (15)

1

Dunland Exploration Bonevales

1

Great River Exploration Thinglad

1

Misty Mountains Quest Peril of the Mountains, final (30, <b>+2 ranks</b>)

2

Evendim Quest Pilgrim of Evendim (60)

2

Dunland Quest Carreglyn (23)

2

Shire Quest The Life of a Bounder, final (75, <b>+2 ranks</b>)

3

Evendim Slayer Annuminas bosses (5)

3

Angmar Slayer Carn Dûm ancient evil (180)

4

Moria Slayer Morroval (360, note: this only gives one rank now)

4

Lothlórien Slayer Orcs (360)

4

Moria Slayer Skumfil Gredbyg (300)

5

Compassion

This is another deed that can be completed mostly from quest and explorer deeds, with only one 4+ ranked slayer deed needed to get it to rank 14. Two of the 3-ranked deeds involve killing mobs in instances, but both Barad Gúlaran and the various Tham Miridian instances are level 50 and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of level 75s to knock them over. If you do want to skip them, none of the 4 ranked deeds, even the slayer of Dunland, are particularly hard if you’ve quested through the relevant zones as you’ll be a decent way to completing them after questing anyway and there’s locations with good concentrations of all of the relevant mobs.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Shire Quest The Life of a Bounder (15)

1

Ered Luin Quest Defender of Ered Luin (20)

1

Lone-Lands Quest Tales of the Lonely Road, advanced (30)

1

Misty Mountains Quest Peril of the Misty Mountains (10)

1

Evendim Quest Wanderer of Evendim (30)

1

Moria Quest Foundation of Stone quests (10)

1

Dunland Exploration Pren Gwydh

1

Great River Exploration Brown Lands

1

Evendim Quest Warden of Evendim (90)

2

Forochel Quest Forochel Pioneer (30)

2

Eregion Quest Silent and Restless, advanced (40)

2

Angmar Slayer Barad Gúlaran hillmen (90)

3

Eregion Meta Complete all boss-killing deeds in Tham Mirdain (Library, School, Ring-forge)

3

Moria Slayer Globsanga (360)

4

Mirkwood Slayer Orcs and Uruks (360)

4

Dunland Meta Slayer of Dunland (all basic-level slayer deeds in Dunland)

4

Moria Slayer Grand Stair trolls (90)

5

Tolerance

This is a middle of the road sort of deed. While you can earn 11 ranks just from exploration and quest deeds, this includes some of the trickiest exploration deeds in the game including two in the far, lonely, reaches of the Trollshaws and Misty Mountains, as well as one within the Carn Dûm instance (you’ll want at least one or two friends for this, although it is possible for a lore-master to solo the relevant areas). Thankfully none of the 4+ slayer deeds that you’ll have to do are particularly tough, if I had to pick 3 it’d be deep claws in Moria, spiders in Mirkwood and beasts in the Great River, although if you can get a friend or two then there’s an abundance of Globsanga orcs in the early parts of the 16th hall.

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Shire Exploration Farms of the Shire

1

North Downs Exploration Villages of the Earth-kin

1

Great River Exploration Rushgore

1

Trollshaws Exploration Ruins of the Trollshaws

2

Misty Mountains Exploration Ruins of the Misty Mountains

2

Moria Exploration The Flaming Deeps

2

Moria Exploration The Water Works

2

Dunland Quest Nan Curunír

2

Angmar Exploration Bastions of Hope (<b>+2 ranks</b>)

2

Angmar Exploration The Enemy’s Stronghold (Carn Dûm)

3

Moria Slayer Deep-claws (360)

4

Moria Slayer Sixteenth Hall Globsanga (180)

4

Moria Slayer Dark Delvings Bosses (3)

4

Mirkwood Slayer Spiders (360)

4

Great River Slayer Beasts (375)

4

Evendim Slayer Spirits in Annuminas (300)

5

Fidelity

This is a relatively easy virtue to rank up, with 13 ranks coming from level 1-3 deeds. There are a couple of tricky exploration deeds there, Memem-Munz in the Silvertine Lodes and the Circle of Despair locations can take a while to get to, they’re both awesome locations to explore though. Apart from that though, you just need to clear the top level of the Forgotten Treasury about 4 times (relatively easy with 2-3 level 75s) and then kill some dead in Mirkwood and you’re done!

Zone

Type

Description

Grind

Shire Exploration The Sights of the Shire

1

Ered Luin Exploration Scouting the Dourhands

1

Lone-lands Exploration Defences of the Lone-lands

1

Trollshaws Exploration The Road to Rivendell

1

Evendim Exploration Tombs of Evendim

1

Evendim Exploration Ruins of Evendim

2

Eregion Exploration Ring-Lore of Eregion

2

Moria Exploration Silvertine Lodes

2

Moria Exploration Durin’s Way

2

Great River Quests Thinglad (20)

2

Angmar Exploration The Circle of Despair

3

Moria Slayer Forgotten Treasury mobs (90)

3

Great River Slayer Spiders (255)

3

Mirkwood Slayer Dead (360)

4

Moria Slayer Grand Stair wargs (180)

5

Forochel Slayer Dourhands (400)

5

Dunland Slayer Dunledings (475)

5

I hope these articles have been of some use, and given you some tips on getting your virtues up to scratch with the least amount of grind :).

 

ToO raid progression update

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Prior to update 7, it had become apparent that two of the T2 fights in the Tower of Orthanc raid were never going to be completed – Fire and Frost challenge and Saruman (with or without challenge). Despite an intense amount of effort that had been put put into these fights by some of the more hardcore raiding kins over the past 5 months, particularly some German kins, there had been no progress for months and basically everyone had given up on them both due to difficulty (or literal impossibility) and the lack of any sort of loot incentive. In response to this, the dev in charge announced some nerfs to these fights which were implemented in Update 7.

As expected, these changes quickly resulted in a breakthrough, with Legion der Freunde ([DE-RP]Belegaer) completing the Saruman challenge mode, which involves completing the hardest and longest fight in the game with no deaths, very shortly after Update 7 launched. Another German kin followed shortly, with a non-challenge kill, and two other kins have now completed the challenge mode and one other has completed the regular mode. Interestingly, all but one of these kinships are from EU servers. As always seems to happen with these things, this new progression has not been short of forum drama, with unsubstantiated accusations being levelled against some kins (not necessarily those involved in the actual kills) that they are exploiting some new macro bug which apparently enables a certain notoriously exploitable class to get insane (50,000+) DPS by bypassing the game’s internal cooldown clock. However, it seems that these current kills are legitimate (unlike some pre-Update 7 exploited kills) and so the current final raid boss in LOTRO has finally been taken down, more than 5 months after the fight was released.

Well, actually, Saruman should be the final boss, but it seems that the very first lock in the fight – Fire and Frost – is actually proving to be the hardest challenge to beat, which seems odd from a design point of view to say the least. While groups were initially expressing some optimism that the nerf to the fight would make it possible, no one has yet managed to beat it after a full raid cycle’s worth of attempts. It seems that something’s a little off in the mathematics of this fight, surely it wasn’t intentional that the first fight would have the hardest challenge in the raid!

A recent dev post from jwbarry announcing that there is a special title for any group that completes the entire raid, on challenge mode, in one sitting might give some incentive for groups to get this down. Time will tell if anyone manages to complete this deed before RoR, of if it becomes another raid achievement that is only completed after a level cap increase.

 
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