Posts tagged traits

LOTRO Update 11 Official Patch Notes

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The patch notes are live for folks to check out as the servers should be up soon-ish.  I’m not going to post them in full, but a few highlights:

<Update> Don’t forget there’s a new batch of top tier guild craftables as I mentioned previously <Update>

  • I’ll be curious to see how the new Mounted Combat works, as well as what new mechanics are there in Wildermore like Aaron has mentioned.  I like the concept of mounted combat, but more attention needs to be paid to the content for it to be anything more then a gimmic.
  • We’re getting Hobbit Presents, so more incentive to log in a do stuff daily – or so Turbine hopes.
  • A little more incentive to pay your rent – foreclosures after 6 months, so if you’re looking for a house, there should be some new openings coming.
  • Turbine is really pushing Mithril Coins, and I expect them to almost completely replace Turbine Points for purchases.
  • Yet another Legendary Item reset – so don’t forget to spend your points!
  • I like the rested XP now applies to all gained and not just monster kills, but I’m not sure I quite understand all the potential impacts and/or limits there.
  • Sorry Captains, but “Defeat Event Cooldown” reducing bonuses will no longer stack
  • All sorts of class tweaks
  • Another new barter coin – Warband Barter Tokens which can be used for the legendary pocket item upgrades

What else jumped out for folks?

Also, if you haven’t already, you might want to check out the 2 recent dev diaries on Mounted Combat and the Epic Story as these actually do go a little deeper then some of the other diaries out there.

 

My Journey Through Rohan

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I’ve been off and on with Rohan since launch and still am quite enjoying this expansion.  I’m not sure where I’d rank it up with the other expansions, but it is certainly up at the top.  My main reason for indecision is that Mirkwood also introduced Skirmishes and Scaling Instances which has quite dramatically changed LOTRO.  Rohan has brought us Mounted Combat, and while quite enjoyable, we don’t know how it will evolve and how it will be used going forward.  If we see things like Mounted Instances, then Rohan will quickly vault to the top of the best expansions.

As for my journey, I’ve been more or less following the Epic Story and only really diverted to go get my War-Steed.  I’m really enjoying the story so far and I think this is some of their best work overall in the game.  I’m only probably about half-way through it (Book 8 Chapter 13) but there’s just some very cool stuff in there.  I just hit level 82 up in the Eaworth area and might be a little over-leveled as things are now blue for me, but we shall see.  I really enjoyed Book 7 as we saw and interacted with the Fellowship, and I’ve actually liked the interactions with your travelling companions.  I will refrain from specifics such that I don’t spoil it for people, but if you’re avoiding the story for some reason, I would suggest you change your path.

For my overall plan, I’m basically now following the Epic Line and then picking up every quest in the area while I’m working my way through.  This Epic Line is similar to that of Isengard in that it pretty much walks you from town to town in a methodical fashion.  Certainly you could skip quests, but since reputation is such a big part of the new armor sets and Hythbold, I figured I’d try to get as much as possible.  I’ve also been doing tasks as much as possible, although I am a bit bummed that those no longer grant reputation.  However, with regard to tasks – I would suggest you wait for them until you have your WarSteed as it is quite a good way to get mount XP.  One thing I have yet to do is swap out any gear or weapons as I just haven’t seen much better or really needed to.  There is some decent stuff as quest rewards, but nothing has jumped out as something I need to have, other then for cosmetic purposes.

As for my WarSteed, I’m quite enjoying him.  I’ve included a couple snaps to share not only my appearance but also how I’m traited.  I pretty much concur with folks who have said going down the Yellow line helps with maneuverability as I noticed a significant difference with pretty much each point spent there.  I have not been going out of my way to find WarBands, but pretty much kill every one I run into.  There’s a repeatable quest at the Farm there in Norcrofts that allows you to double up on experience for killing a WarBand if you’re questing in that area.  I’ve gone down the Heavy steed path primarily as I think it fits my style, but I’ll admit I haven’t given the Medium steed a fair shot.  I will probably try swapping them up here soon as now it is nice since I have enough points to spec it out pretty well.  I also can’t speak highly enough for using a combination of the keyboard controls and your mouse to maunder your horse.  I makes such a big difference to not only help with steering but keeping an eye on where adds are.

My War-Steed in TownMy WarSteed Traits

I’ve also been doing some Legendary Item cleanup in preparation for out-fitting my Legendary Bridle to its maximum.  The main way to get relics for your Bridle is through the LI Melding panel and the shard prices are not cheap.  So I’ve been going through my alts that I’m now longer playing and cleaning out their LIs and breaking down any extra non-slotted runes and relics.  It can be a bit of a hit to your wallet, but prices have dropped so it isn’t as bad as it used to be.  In chatting with my frequent source about it, we came up and are working through some guidelines for this:

  • The break even point for breaking down relics into Shards seems to be Tier 4
  • The Scrolls of Combining are best used after Tiers 1 and 2 as the benefits for critting are much greater.
  • Breaking down crafted relics is another great way of getting shards.  The items needed to craft these are not bound, so you can run the quests on multiple characters if you so choose.  The quests are:
    • Down in the Flaming Deeps
    • Spider quest in Mirkwood
    • Instance out of Stangard
    • Or from the Skirmish Vendor
  • We’re still doing some checking on what level Legendary Item is the ideal, but the old adage still applies that you want to deconstruct on the 11s (so 11, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61) and I’m currently going to 21 since 150K IXP isn’t too bad to get.
  • Running older scaled instances (like the In Your Absence 3-mans) or Mirkwood 3-mans are quite solo-able if you’re high level and also drop relics and IXP runes.
  • Always have the max number of LIs slotted, they do drop like candy so you shouldn’t have a problem
  • A quick search of the AH might help in a pinch too as the level doesn’t really matter
  • Always wear your Horseshoe – you might as well, right?

I think my only “issue” I’ve had with Rohan so far has been the level of difficulty, as things seem quite easy.  Granted, I’m am on my Warden, so that might not be a fair assessment – please let me know if you feel differently!  I’ve been able to take down WarBands with over 100K morale solo and some groups of 4 and 5 all with over 40K morale without too much difficulty.  I’ve also pretty much gone through and steam-rolled the various camps and “instances” so far.  I realize you can’t baseline the difficulty on the Warden class – but I’m not sure it would make this much of a difference.  I have heard there’s a difficulty curve adjustment coming soon, so hopefully this is just easing players into the Mounted Combat system.

Overall though, I’m quite happy with the expansion and am having lots of fun.  I’m looking forward to hitting 85, although not in a huge hurry as I know there’s a hefty grind waiting for me.

 

Lore-mastery: RoR Class changes – the good, the bland and the bad

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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the lore-master dev diary so I can see what direction the class is going to be taking in RoR. All of the class changes announced to date have very much been in the vein of “incremental improvements”, with a slightly improved version of a skill here and a quality of life clean up there. Certainly nothing on the scale of the RoI Minstrel or Champion overhaul, in fact most classes haven’t even had their traits touched at all. There’s also been no new fundamental change to the trait system announced – no 6th class trait for example, or new legendary trait.

Well, the lore-master diary is now up and I’m pleased to say that the changes go a bit beyond most of the other classes. As far as I can tell, we’re the only class that’s actually getting a new skill (technically two, though one’s basically an optional alternative version of an existing skill). I’m not going to re-iterate all of the changes here because if you’re reading this column you should really just go and read the (short) dev diary yourself. Go on, I’ll wait.

Ok we back? Good :). Here’s my thoughts on the changes.

The good

First up is a change that many lore-masters have been asking for ever since RoI did away with a lot of the genus restrictions on cc skills. Yes, bane flare will now hit any type of mob. This is a straight up buff, and a big one. Anyone who has used ents go to war as a crowd control/damage reduction skill can appreciate the power of even a short duration AOE stun on with a long cooldown. Bane flare is a longer duration, shorter cooldown combo stun/daze which can be chain-cast with Call to the Valar and hit up to 10 targets with the 2 yellow line trait bonus and book legacy. The induction on the skill can make it tricky to use correctly, but if you do it right then you’ll be able to do a lot of good things with this skill.

The second good change is a brand new skill – water lore. This is a heal skill that gives a “medium” sized HoT and a 5% healing buff on the recipient that is stackable up to 3 times. Obviously there’s a lot of details we need to know about this skill before we can evaluate it, but it has the potential to get pretty powerful especially if the HoT is decently sized. We’ll have to reserve judgement on this until we see it in action, but it has the potential to give lore-masters a much more solid healing potential in smaller group content and to give us a powerful tank-buffing role in raid content.

Finally, there’s a few good quality of life improvements – pet level increasing to the player’s level (hopefully they remember to scale their damage too this time), WoTC heal moving up front and changing to a flat 50% of morale and the “excessive delay” after casting back from the brink and our melee attacks has been removed. The latter has the potential to significantly increase our DPS which is interesting.

The bland

I’m a lot less excited by our other two “new” skills. Improved power of knowledge is a bug fix disguised as a new skill. For whatever reason the amount of power gained from power of knowledge stopped scaling at level 65, which meant that a skill which used to almost fill up our power pool at 65 became about a 30-50% fill at 75. Well the good news is that they’ve made the skill fill up our power pool again. The bad news is that they’re calling this one of our three new skills.

Share the power – fellowship is an answer to a problem no one was having. With the big boost to fellowship wide power regen that captains got with RoI, and a number of class changes which meant that power management was much less of an issue at 75 than at 65, it’s a very, very rare fight that more than one or two people need any significant amount of power sharing. Sure, you can get in a lazy group where the DPS players are using inefficient rotations, and people can be undergeared, and some people are selfish and don’t like using power potions, but in a reasonably competent group you won’t find yourself needing to top up multiple people’s power outside of obscure raid mechanics like the Lieutenant of Dol Gudur. Yes, it’s possible that there’s some new group content that does have some raid mechanics like that – in which case this skill will be niche but welcome – and it’s also possible that they break something with class scaling that makes power regen much more of an issue at 85, but based on current group dynamics, this skill is pretty worthless.

Finally, I’m also not really getting excited about the change to our legendary sword and staff trait. First of all, sword and staff should still be mandatory for soloing lore-masters. The survivability and big DPS boosts are extremely valuable to a soloing lore-master. And in group content, we just don’t have many good legendary trait options. We will almost always want ents go to war, just for the stun option, and will usually have a capstone. But Noble Savage just isn’t an interesting trait to use, especially in group situations where the pet does a pitiful amount of actual damage. And having the possibility of using the eagle pet is kind of nice, but I can’t think of many group situations where I wouldn’t prefer to have either the raven, bear or spirit pets. Anyway, this is a straight up buff and kind of nice, but it’s just not very exciting.

The bad

And then you get to the bottom of the developer diary and realise that that’s all. I’ve long maintained the position that the class is in a good place, and I still believe that, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues with the that should be addressed, and an expansion is the ideal time to do so. These are issues which were raised by many people in the class feedback thread and which have been completely ignored. The biggest outstanding issues to me are:

  • The mess that is the blue traitline, including the capstone legendary (bog-guardian pet). As I discussed here, this was the #1 issue raised by lore-masters in the feedback thread. The traitline is confused and in desperate need of an overhaul, but hasn’t been touched at all.
  • No interrupt skill. We are the only class without a true interrupt skill and it’s a big gap in the class’ toolbox.
  • Many of our legendaries are worthless, more than any other class that I know of.
  • Multiple lore-master’s don’t stack well in a group. Something like ancient craft stacking would have been great.

It would have been really nice to see some of these issues addressed, particularly the blue trait line, but I guess that goes beyond the “tweaking” mandate that the relevant devs seem to have been given with the class changes in RoR.

Anyway, I’m interested to hear anyone else’s thoughts on the changes, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about the water lore skill.

 

Update 6.1 Patch hits Bullroarer

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The second patch to Update 6 has now made its way over to Bullroarer for testing and Sapience has posted the patch notes.  As always, remember these notes are subject to change and since I’ve had a horrible string of predicting when these will hit live, I won’t even venture a guess.

  • New graphics for item acquisition – this one I’ll put in the “wait and see” category as it could be incredibly annoying.  Curious if it will break UI skins Smile
  • Fix for lockbox loot
  • Various class fixes
  • Warden Fixes
    • War-cry gets an AoE threat when in Determination
    • Battle preparation working properly (not exploitable)
    • Boar’s rush only applies daze on crit in Recklessness
    • Shield Gambit Buff Duration Legacy works for ALL shield buffs
    • Terrible Visage fixed
    • Physical bleeds correctly pick up the weapon damage type
    • Multiple Warden convictions will stack in a group
  • Various Instance tweaks
  • All sorts of item tweaks
  • Fixed the annoying landmark display constantly popping up

And as always, the obligatory joke in the notes – “Addressed an issue.  This issue very politely addressed us back.  This matter is now closed.”  Not a huge patch, but certainly a very welcome one especially for Wardens.  I would expect this to hit live pretty quick since there’s not a whole lot to it.  As always, check out the notes and take some time to play with the changes.

 

Episode 28 – Return of the Rambling Warden

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Since I finally was able to get my computer fixed, I’m back talking about things LOTRO related.  I’d say I have show notes for this episode, but in reality it is just me chatting about my time post Update 6.  I’m pretty much solely on my Warden and I talk about my impressions so far with the class.

I also tease a couple of upcoming interviews, the first of which should be posted in the next day or so with the second probably recording next week due to scheduling conflicts.

As always, let me know if you have suggestions or comments on future episodes.

 
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