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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:21 am 
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So a friend of mine begged and begged a while back for me to try this out, so I gave it a shot. It's honestly pretty good, as MMOs go, and it's a decently solid game aside from that. Now, as an MMO, it shares a lot in common with WoW. That is not a bad thing, since WoW has a pretty solid formula, as is evidenced by the fact that it has a 63% stranglehold on the MMO market.

The storyline, however, is pretty easy to get into. You play a hero who is set against the forces of Angmar and the Witch-King during the course of the Fellowship. You take orders from Strider, Gandalf, Radagast the Brown, and meet other interesting characters like Tom Bombadil. The Epic Quests are done pretty well and have a decently high quality to them. The rest of the quests, of course, consist of largely standard varieties, (Fed Ex, Kill X, Find Y, etc.), though there is a little bit more actual saving people style quests than most MMOs. What's nice about this is that if you are saving someone, regardless of if they can fight back or not (and they commonly can, about half the time), you can heal them if they get too hurt. Most of these escort missions, obviously, are best done with a small group at least, just to make sure, though the right classes can attempt to solo, even then it's very hard.

Now then, classes. A short diversion prior to that about health and healing. In LOTRO, health is done in a mechanic known as morale. Instead of dying and coming back, which doesn't stylistically work in Tolkien's world unless you're Gandalf, you lose morale and run away. As a result, the minstrels become the role commonly associated with clerics, as their songs raise morale. Other classes have some healing abilities as well, as a result of this system. Now then, the classes:

Burglar: A rogue, while the WoW Rogue is largely damage, the Burglar is more about debuffs and sneaking. A key thing is that the Burglar can reliable initiate what's known as a Fellowship manuever, which can result in massive damage to the target.

Champion: Melee DPS/AOE, the scrapper of LOTRO. High damage, pretty straightforward.

Captain: Melee, Pet, Group Buff, Enemy Debuff. One of the more complicated classes because of the bundling of so many roles into one. The captain is a mix of the Minstrel, the Loremaster, and the Champion. Designed to get into the thick of things with a melee pet (standard bearer) who gives group buffs, the captain can fight, heal, buff, and debuff. Certain abilities require an enemy to die to be reliably used.

Guardian: The tank. Highest defense, the aggro machine. Keeps the attention off of the minstrels, hunters, lore-masters, and burglars. Has special attacks based on what the enemy throws at it.

Hunter: Range DPS/AoE, filling the role of the mage from most games, the Hunter is the only class with good ranged damage. Can also set traps for enemies and give minor buffs to the party, especially helping them move faster out of combat.

Lore-Master: The "mage", the Loremaster gets pets to help it do damage, but relies primarily on crowd control to help the party. Can do a little healing.

Minstrel: The "healer", the Minstrel is the definitive buff/debuff healing machine. Other than that, I don't know that much about them.

Now then, crafting. There are seven crafting professions, which consist of three trade skills out of the ten overall skills. Obviously, there is some overlap, but no profession can work alone. For example, my character is an armorer, I can mine, smelt, and work the metal on my own, and I can turn boiled leather into useful things for my armor, but I cannot turn a skinned hide into boiled leather, I need a forester to do that for me. Similarly, I can make tools for every profession, allowing them better chances of critical successes, or less time spent gathering raw materials.

Now then, fun stuff. The game is very pretty, roughly on par with Guild Wars. It has a full day/night cycle, along with very nice weather effects, and it feels very atmospheric, despite the fact that it's an mmo, which in my book automatically deducts atmosphere from the raving idiots running around.

You can also buy a house, which you can decorate as you wish, including trophies from the monsters you've killed or fish you've caught. There are some odd things you can put in houses and Kinship (guild) Halls, as I found out when I tapped a keg at my Kinship House and ended up drunk off my ass and on top of a spire surrounded by giants.

You can also play music, every class can use at least some of the instruments in the game, and bards can use every instrument in the game. There are ways of downloading music macros that play specific songs, but the basic way of doing things is keys 1-8 with SHIFT and CTRL used to go up or down an octave. It's a fun way to relax, as you can either try to play actual songs, or just jam with friends.

There are some other interesting things of note, but these are some of the major points. I'm enjoying the game so far, and I'm certainly thinking about continuing with it for at least a little while.


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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:08 am 
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Part 2: Races, Places, and PvP

Available Races for Players are as follows:

Human (M&F)
Hobbit (M&F)
Elf (M&F)
Dwarf

Humans are strong, easily inspired (be healed faster), and have strong fate, but have low willpower. They can be any class, and only humans can be Captains.

Hobbits are weak, but tough and strong willed. The can be Burglars, Guardians, Hunters, and Minstrels.

Elves are quick, but sorrowful and their time at Middle Earth is at an end (low Fate). They can be Champions, Guardians, Hunters, Lore-masters, and Minstrels.

Dwarves are tough and strong, but not as agile and their time is coming to a close as well. They can be Champions, Guardians, Hunters, Lore-masters, and Minstrels.

During character creation, you can determine which area of the lands of Middle Earth your character comes from. This is primarily role-playing, but it can factor in to how your character looks with regards to skin tone and hair color. For example, Men can come from the Breelands, Gondor, Rohan, or the Dale Lands.

Depending on your race, you start in different areas. Hobbits start in the Shire, Humans start in the Bree Lands, and Dwarves and Elves start in Thorin's Gate (I'm pretty sure, at least, I could be wrong).

Several key landmarks can be found in the game. Tom Bombadil's house, Weathertop, the Prancing Pony (which is my current base of operations), and so on. You can follow the path of the Fellowship to a point, as it is right now, the world does not continue to Mordor, so you can't dance around Mt. Doom before Frodo even gets there. Saruman and Angmar are the more current threats that you have to deal with. The places all look really good, by and large, since the graphics and design are both excellent. They deviate from the movie slightly, but that's just fine with me, since they include more things from the books.

Now, all that said, you can travel pretty quickly from point A to point B in the game, in so far as you could make the trip from Hobbiton to weathertop inside of a game day, less if you went by horse, but that is one of the limitations of playing in an MMO, you have to be able to move around and not have massive amounts of dead space between points of interest.

Now then, PvP. Obviously, you can duel each other, but that gets boring fast. Instead, when you hit level 10, you can opt to log in with a monsterous character in the services of Angmar. You start at level 50 with a limited number of abilities that can be improved by regular PvE questing or just simply grinding. Rather than using experience points, they use Destiny points which, interestingly, can be used back on your main as well. When used on your monster, Destiny point effects are permanent. When used on your character, they give useful, but limited buffs that only last for a given amount of time.

I haven't delved much into monster play, since I've been focusing on my main character at the moment.


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:56 pm 
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What is Fate and why is it important?

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Ah, yes, stats, I knew I forgot something.

Might: Contributes to Melee Damage, Parry and Block, and Damage resistance

Agility: To-hit, evade and parry, ranged damage, critical hit chance

Vitality: Maximum Morale, Morale regeneration out of combat, Shadow and Fire resistance, wound, disease, and poison resistance.

Will: Maximum Power, Power Regeneration out of combat, Fear resistance

Fate: Morale and Power regeneration in combat, critical healing


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Dead thread - rise from your grave!

After playing this quite a bit over the last few days (and making some really amusing mistakes as a result of lack of sleep and unfamiliarity with the game), I've come to the conclusion that this game is awesome. I now have a 3 month subscription after getting my Champion to level 20.

Given that my only MMO experience prior to this game was in STO, that's (sadly) what I will use as a basis of comparison. The subtlety and maturity of the interface and game itself is a far cry from the slipshod and rather shallow approach STO uses. The quests, characters, gameplay, and even the interface feel much more natural to use, and make much more sense overall.

Granted, there are intricacies I'm still getting to know - but from a MMO newb's standpoint, I'm rather impressed.

I've been tempted to try other classes now after getting my main character to level 22, but honestly I'm still having too much fun with the murder machine Champion.

For more info, check out the LotRO Wiki.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:46 am 
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I've been playing this game for about a week and a half now with my friend and it's been a pretty good run. I managed to bring up a level 32 human minstrel. Though I probably wouldn't even have gone this far if it wasn't for being able to get a horse and the cheap automatic rent-a-horse routes. It must take about 5 minutes or so just to get from Bree to Trestlebridge to Esteldin. The only other thing that really kept me going on top of that was doing the epic quests since killing X amount of monsters and or gather Y amount of items was getting real tedious. Speaking of tedious, crafting is a pain. When I would need about 300 Sturdy Hides to get a gold anvil, that is just way too much time spent and that's just crafting the hides and not including going off to collect them.

There are a couple things I liked. The Yule Festival was a nice distraction and I bartered myself a Festival Horse and some snowballs. Nothing like telling the poor to sod off, even though there's an all you can eat contest and a nicely lit fire here and there. Or throwing rotten fruit at the actors in the theatre. My title right now is "Fruit Hucker". :smile:

I'm almost done with the Lone-Lands so I will probably stop there. I won't be able to get a subscription anytime soon. Nor will I be as nuts as said friend and try to do a ton of deeds to get as many turbine points as possible to unlock things. The next epic quest I'd be eligible for is at level 34 with book 3 chapter 7 so at this moment I'm not sure I'd continue after I'm done with the available quests and I'm still level 32-3.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:03 pm 
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I once again Necromance this thread!

LotRO is still definitely around, and many updates have occurred since we last tromped through it's hallowed spaces. It's now on update 15, where Gondor is apparently on fire. The level cap for all characters is now level 100, and several new areas have been added, including Rohan, Gondor, and several other fun places. Moreover, Beornlings (that's right, THEY ADDED WEREBEARS) are now available as their own race and class.

There are still rumblings about how the Helm's Deep expansion messed with several classes and how they play, but I cannot speak to those things. I can say that I'm levelling a Warden right now, not only to get a refresher course in Eriador (and other places), but also because Wardens have apparently been streamlined. For instance, there are now only two stances for a Warden - ranged, and melee. Some Gambits can only be executed at melee range, but this versatility means that a Warden can go from being DPS, at range or in melee, and switch from that to being more tanky mostly based on the Gambits you use. Naturally, at higher levels, this also depends on your Traits, your gear, and your Virtues, but I have to admit, the Warden makes this versatility a joy to use.

A warden is all about the Combination strikes. They use three basic attacks basically as a color-combination to execute a Gambit. A Spear strike raises your block/parry/dodge chance by a small amount when used, and lowers your miss chance for a time. A Shield strike raises your block/parry/dodge chance by a small amount, and has a chance to impressively increase your Block chance for a time. A Fist strike does a small amount of Light damage over time, and grants you increased threat when you heal or do damage.

With combinations of those three, you can make Gambit effects - and mind you, they stack on one another. For instance: Perseverance is a Shield strike followed by a Spear strike, and gives you healing over time when executed. The next in line, Safeguard, is Shield + Spear + Shield, also gives you healing over time, but it's healing over time is multiplied by 1.5x if Perseverance was executed right beforehand. The next two in that sequence are Celebration of Skill and then Restoration, each of which follows the previous pattern (Restoration ends with Shield + Spear + Shield + Spear + Shield), and each of them build off of one another for effect. In this way, I often finish a fight involving about 7-10 enemies while at full Morale.

This means that while the Warden doesn't have very many AoE attack options (though a trait later on lets you convert bleed DoT effect on enemies to blast damage to affect multiple enemies, which is hilariously awesome in practice), you do get versatility. The cost of that versatility is that you cannot simply react in a fight - you have to be able to read how a battle is going, and build and execute Gambits accordingly. It's also a bit more involved to get and keep threat, but not that much more - even if a teammate in a Fellowship manages to out-damage a Warden and get an enemy's attention, there are Gambits that transfer ALL THE THREAT from all members of your Fellowship directly to you (plus a block/dodge/parry buff). Granted, a Warden can only wear Medium armor whereas a Guardian (as well as Captain and Champion) can use Heavy Armor - but a Warden appears to live, breathe, and die by their healing over time effects, and parry/block/dodge chances.

Of course, I'll have to get said Warden to Moria (and therefore level 60-65) before I can give it a proper test. But so far, I have to say playing the Warden is just... comfortable fun.

And LotRO is just a joy to come back to. Yes, I can complain about limited action sets and whatnot, but there are reasons LotRO has withstood the test of time.

EDIT: Currently, my Warden is coming to the end of the Lone Lands, after which I'll go through Trestlebridge, and then the North Downs. Once the three of those are done, I think it'll be time to go back through earlier areas and finish off any Deeds I missed for the Virtue increases (and Marks), and then explore Evendim, the Trollshaws, and then the Misty Mountains. After that, Angmar, and then Moria.

I truly love how expansive the game is, I have to say. After playing several other MMO's now, even though LotRO shows its age graphically, it's aged like a fine wine.

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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:44 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Thread necromancy FTW.

I reinstalled LotRO again recently, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it looks today. Granted, I cranked up the Graphics settings up to High or Ultra High where possible, but still.

I haven't even gotten close to playing the new added content yet, as I'm still slowly playing a Warden and a Beorning through the beginning to intermediate stages. I can say that coming back to the game feels like visiting a good friend one hasn't seen in quite a while, and that's a wonderful thing.


One minor pet peeve about Beornings though:

As a Beorning, you can use two-handed axes, as well as dual-wielding one-handed axes. With that, your first question is probably "then why the hell is this even a choice?", and this is because of how the weapons' stats affect you in Bear form. In short, your Bear form takes into account the damage from your equipped weapon(s), but not the attack speed. So, if you plan on turning into a bear and eating a goblin even sometimes, there's no reason to not use two-handed axes, as you get a huge bonus to damage, but no bonus at all to attack speed if you're dual-wielding.

With that said, you can (hilariously enough) trait a Beorning for DPS, Tanking, or Healing. No prizes for guessing which trait line I went with for mine.

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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:45 am 
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On Wardens:

The largest downside to playing a Warden is Interrupts - or rather, the difficulty that comes in actually using them in practice.

You see, the Warden's Interrupt is a Gambit. The Gambit combo itself is fast: it's just Spear + Shield. However, for it to work, your Gambit meter has to be clear when you start it, and chances are, you'll be well into combos in a fight. In other words, when you see an enemy showing the Casting or Healing ring, you have to immediately dump whatever Gambit you're working on (thankfully, you can bind a skill to instantly clear your Gambit meter, but still), and then execute Spear + Shield to actually interrupt the enemy cast.

As you might guess, this is an infected and bleeding hemorrhoid in practice to do in melee mode, and far too slow to actually perform in practice while in ranged mode.

While a Warden's defense won't be as high as a Guardian's, your Block, Parry, and Evade will likely be much, much higher. This by itself means that later on you'll want to use the Gambits that help raise those stats if you're doing to melee tank, but you can do so almost as well as a Guardian can. Moreover, you can switch to Javelins and perform ranged tanking, and is the only class that can.

So, you'll be in constant motion while tanking, but your morale drain abilities (which are actually more effective with more enemies in the mix), high damage abilities (though only one AoE strike), morale regen abilities (plenty of those), and threat management (including stealing ALL threat from your party and gaining it for yourself, along with a huge buff to Block, Parry, and Evade) all mean that while a Warden tanks differently than a Guardian does (and does so in a more complicated fashion, in all honesty), a Warden can be just as effective while doing so.

Moreover, statting yourself out for raw damage makes a Warden a very, very effective DPS/Off-tank as well, assuming you don't use the morale drain or other threat Gambits that will steal threat away from your tank.

When in ranged mode, you can execute almost all the Gambits at range (apart from the ones that specifically give bonuses to Blocking). The process of actually setting up each Gambit takes longer because a Gambit entry only registers on hit, and javelins are slower than your melee weapon.

With that said, as a Warden you can run around the countryside, chuck a javelin at an enemy to piss it off and make it follow you, and keep doing this until you have about 10-12 enemies tailing after you. Once you do, you can use the Morale Draining Gambits to drain Morale from all of them en masse while you're running around them in circles, and end the fight at full Morale, feeling very smug.

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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:45 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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So, more testing happened, since I'm kind of obsessed with DPS - and now that my Warden has hit 65, I can do proper comparisons.

Specced out for DPS, the Warden is fairly versatile - the bleeds, AoE options, and defenses ensure that you can be fairly hardy doing solo content, even up against Elites. Though a Warden isn't great at burst damage, the amount of DoT's you can inflict on someone make taking down someone with lots of hit points easier than you might expect.

However, the main test for me was to see if a Warden could even approach the raw DPS talents of the Champion, especially now that many skills and traits have been made more concise. So, I checked things out on my Champion as a direct comparison.

The Warden, when specced out for DPS, can change between single-target DPS and AoE DPS pretty well, especially if you get the additional Light damage boost from the Shield Trait tree. The Champion, by contrast, has to choose in trait setup between single-target or AoE - but either way, ends up more specialized (not to mention more effective) in that area than the Warden does. The amount of single-target damage you can cough up as a Champion is absolutely frightening when traited right, and the AoE traits allow you to clearcut entire areas at once.

In short, the Warden is much more fun for the single-player experience of LotRO. Well-prepared for damn near anything, and with many fast-travel skills, the Warden is an excellent class to choose if you want to play the game Lord of the Rings Online as a proper experience of gameplay, but probably won't be playing with others as much. As a Warden, you kill Elite enemies by self-heals, superior Block/Evade/Parry, and stacking DoT's. For Interrupts, the downside is that the Warden's Interrupts are all Gambit-based. The upside is that the Warden has THREE of them, and none of them have cooldowns.

The Champion, by contrast, is slower (with no boost to out-of-combat run speed, except briefly from Sprint), and has no fast-travel skills to speak of. On the other hand, a Champion survives by killing everything before the everything can properly retaliate. As a Champion, you kill Elite enemies by inflicting massive and repeated bursts of damage before they can kill you. You only get one Interrupt skill, it has a cooldown of 10 seconds, and it requires that you have at least one Fervour pip to use.

In conclusion, given my melee murder-ish predilections, I'm very happy with my Champion again. I'll still login to my Warden to experience all the places of Middle-Earth, but for pure, visceral fun, my Champion feels like coming home.

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"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."

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Josh wrote:
What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:22 pm 
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The changes in LotRO from when I last played to now have been astounding.

Many little things have been smoothed out or made easier over time. Managing Virtues, managing your Traits, and even how Traits function to customize your character now makes more sense to use. The new character classes - Runekeeper, Warden, and now Beorning - all have been fine-tuned well enough that they mesh well with the other classes already present.

Gameplay itself feels more polished, especially in the beginning stages, and progressing through the different areas is actually more enjoyable than it was before. Many little irritating quests got streamlined, so you can simply trade for certain specific items at a Skirmish camp instead of spending about a week trying to collect them. You'll still have to grind for the Profession Guilds' standing, but given what kind of things you can get out of crafting, that's understandable.

As I've mentioned before, the game looks gorgeous now. On a modern computer, I have most of the settings at max - and it looks almost as good as I can make Skyrim look now, which should say something.

Being F2P now, you'll need to unlock certain things with Turbine Points if you've never had a membership. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when you get into later stages of the game, you'll start hitting your elbows on the walls imposed by F2P. This is understandable, but for me and several others who enjoy the full experience of LotRO, getting a membership is still well worth the money.

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What? There's nothing weird about having a pet housefly. He smuggles cigarettes for me.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:12 pm 
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So, since it hasn't been done, I'll lay it out here as the basics.

1. SPECIES
Your choices are Man, Elf, Dwarf, Beorning, and Hobbit.

With the exception of Beorning, while some classes are restricted to certain species, which species you pick for your character is more a stylistic choice than one that truly has a strong effect on gameplay. Your species bonuses will give you small adjustments to stats, and a few unique abilities, but nothing that would make any one species a definitive choice for a given class. Again, except Beorning - Beornings can only choose their own Class, and no others.

2. CLASS
The basic classes are Guardian, Champion, Captain, Hunter, Minstrel, and Lore-Master, while the advanced classes are Burglar, Warden, Beorning, and Rune-Keeper. While each class has capacities for certain things and a lack of others, the variation you can choose allows for a bit of flexibility in what kind of capabilities you want your character to have.

Guardian is primarily a Tank class, responsible for attracting and keeping enemy attention, while shrugging off the many thousands of strikes raining down upon them. They can spec out for damage of course, as all classes can - but in group play, you'll probably be the tank.

Champion is primarily an AoE melee DPS class, with a secondaries as single-target DPS and tanking. A Champion can be a tank with the right gear and setup, but won't be as capable of it as a Guardian can. A Champion can beat down a single target pretty well, but nowhere near what some other classes can. What a Champion does excellently is AoE damage, damaging entire enemy groups at once with repeated strikes.

Captain is primarily a support class, with secondary tanking and healing. A Captain can of course cause some damage, but their skill setup focuses them far more on supporting other classes to do what they do already, only do it much better. Healing and wearing heavy armor for tanking fits with this philosophy, making a Captain very much a battlefield commander type of class.

Hunter is a sniper, someone who dumps obscene amounts of burst damage into single targets. They and Rune-Keepers are the reigning lords and ladies of single-target burst damage, to go along with many useful little abilities - like being able to fast-travel to a nearby campfire, fast-travel places and take allies with them, locate specific enemies within a given area, and even lay down traps to stun or halt enemies. They do horrendous amounts of damage to single-targets, and do it well.

Minstrel is far and away one of the best healer classes in the game, though a Rune-Keeper can get close to a Minstrel's efficacy. Minstrels can buff the party, perform burst healing, and give you a pleasant soundtrack to exsanguinate Orcs to. Not great at damage or tanking, but then again, that's not their thing.

Lore-Masters can do many support skills well, while also being capable of causing some serious damage. Perhaps not as much damage as some of the true DPS classes can vomit up on things, but their versatility helps make up for this. Also, you get to wield staff and sword as a Lore-Master, like a certain Istari we all know. And of course there's the matter of having a pet that can murder things for you, the choice of which only gets more interesting as you get higher levels.

Burglars are great at offensive support (stunning, debuffing enemies), while also shanking things in the kidneys for frightening amounts of damage. Though AoE DPS isn't their thing, stunning a group of enemies and then stabbing them in the kidneys one by one while stealing their wallets most definitely is.

Wardens are primarily a tank class, but they also slot into the DPS group just as comfortably - think Spartans of ancient Greece, and you won't be far off. Wardens focus more on Parry/Evade/Block than Guardians do, relying on those to tank well instead of simply shrugging off damage the way a Guardian does, since Wardens can only wear Medium armor. A Warden's DPS against elite single targets or groups of enemies can compete with what DPS classes can do, and this is due to many stacking bleeds, morale-taps, and some impressive AoE Light damage. Moreover, when specced for DPS, a Warden can handle either scenario excellently. The downside to Wardens is that all the things they do are based on Gambits, which are activated combinations of skills - not just simply activating a skill, and this goes even for Interrupt attacks.

Rune-Keepers can heal quite well, and they can set things on fire very, very well. They are excellent at both burst and sustained damage on single targets. They don't excel at AoE damage, but they're not incapable of it. Moreover, they can instead be a battlefield healer, working differently than, but no less effectively than the Minstrel.

Beornings are werebears, full stop. They can heal pretty well, do DPS pretty well, and tank pretty well. Other classes when built well can be more effective than the Beorning is at any one of the three, but the Beorning does have the versatility of all three, even if you only focus on one of them. There are quite a few fun lore quests you play as a Beorning. Also, you learn how to make honey-cakes as a species skill, even if you're not a cook - and this is awesome.

Anyway - this is purely my take on the classes, and you're welcome to contribute my own thoughts. Since getting back into LotRO, I figured I'd at least write some of my long-winded screeds for this game, too.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:51 pm 
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Well, this is but one gamer's opinion, but mounted combat in LotRO is amazing. I've only played it with my Champion so far - once I got the hang of it, it immediately became so very addictive.

Rohan is definitely worth the long journey to get there.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:25 pm 
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Quick tip - it's never a bad idea to go back to lower-level areas and polish off quests and deeds. You'll get more Stablemaster travel options in the area, you'll get more titles, and more importantly, you'll get Virtue increases.

Also, the Anniversary Festival going on is great. The events are actually fun, and you get some good stuff from the experience. My angry Dwarven Champion now has an evil-looking black goat to ride, and has furnished his house with various Moria-ish and Dwarvish things. However, unlike Hotfoot, I lack a Moria Keg of knock-you-on-your-ass brandy as a house decoration.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:42 pm 
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FYI, being able to do this run solo is my current goal for my Warden:



This guy is who I'm aiming to surpass next. He turned his Warden into a one-person army, taking on 6-person instances and Raids completely alone - as speed runs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:30 pm 
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I'm posting this primarily because I'm interested in it, but it might interest others as well. A long-time Warden player made a nearly hour-long Youtube video, going over all aspects of playing a Warden. The video covers many tips, tricks, and nuances of the Warden class, and little things that make impressive differences.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:22 pm 
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Patch 18.2 dropped today.

- Imbued Legendary item legacies now have an additional 15 tiers to them (10 for the main DPS/Healing legacy). 5 of them will be available by default, with the other 10 being unlockable with scrolls of empowerment. The main DPS/Healing legacy will have 5 additional levels by available by default, and the other 5 will be unlockable with star-lit crystals.

(In other words, Imbued LI's got more powerful, but they're also more of a pain in the ass to complete. Then again, they're endgame weapons, so...)

- New Raid in the Pellenor Fields is available (first new one in years).
- Featured Instance pool of Instances has changed, along with available loot. Note that most of them appear to be of the 6-person variety.
- various other class balances and bugfixes.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Patch update 18.2.2 dropped yesterday - it's a big update, but things seem smoother since then, as well as nicer-looking in little ways.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:37 pm 
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So, something I discovered that most people now know, but I'll share regardless.

Wardens can apparently be very close to as good as Champions are at single-target DPS, and at AoE DPS - despite the DPS mainly coming from stacking bleeds rather than straight damage.

However, Champions have a skill that allows them to simply dump all threat they've accumulated to make a tank's life easier, but Wardens most certainly do not. While Champions typically have to have one trait spec for single targets and another for AoE, and will typically need a different weapon & rune setup for single targets as they will for AoE (mainly because of how the LI legacies work out), Ebbing Ire allows them to instantaneously dump all threat they've managed to accumulate so far.

The tradeoff apparently is that you can setup a Warden's LI's and traits to be equally good against single targets or multiple, so you only need one weapon & javelin setup if you go the DPS route - but the Warden will always have its tank throwback of having great ways to accumulate threat, but no ways of dumping it, even when setup as DPS.

You can mitigate this by going into Assailment stance and throw javelins at people as a Warden, especially if you spec yourself with the Yellow trait tree and get the attack speed reduction for javelin throwing - but this means you'll be pretending to be a Hunter by mainly going after single targets. I haven't tested AoE attacks in Assailment stance since patch 18.2.2 came out, but prior to this most recent patch, all the AoE bursts you let loose in Assailment stance still are PBAoE around the caster, and not the enemy you're attacking at range - making AoE attacks significantly less attractive when throwing javelins at people.

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- William Gibson


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:39 pm 
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FYI for the Ruined City instance:

I found this video, made for Wardens to gets past t2 of Ruined City solo, but it also gives the tip of how to get past Jukotor without triggering his flood of tens of thousands of adds. You still have to get past his initial group, yes, but with this method he won't get more.

Basically, pull him back to the previous room.

If you watch the video, turn your sound off. Your ears will thank you for sparing them the youtube video author's atrocious taste in music.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:04 pm 
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A few quick things:

1. North Ithilien (in Henneth Annun specifically) has the daily quests which allow you to get access to the best essences in the game. That tier of Essences do not include Finesse, but they do include Vitality (which offer a secondary boost to Phys. Mastery) instead. (Essence Comparison Chart here)

2. Henneth Annun also offers 4-slot lvl 105 Light, Medium, and Heavy armor, as well as 3-slot lvl 105 jewelery. The armor doesn't have set bonuses (unlike the Pellenor armor sets), but does work well if you need a full set of 4-slot lvl 105 armor. The jewelery doesn't include any inherent boosts to physical or tactical mitigation (as the jewelery available from the Featured Instance vendor does), but that each piece has 3 slots makes up for that nicely.

3. For awesome (i.e., "the best") cloaks, seriously - just go through the Epic book quests.

4. Best pocket item in the game (and the only lvl 105 one) is still the [url=https://www.lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Hilt_of_Eärnil]Hilt of Eärnil[/url], only obtained as a rare drop for completing the Challenge on T2 of the Silent Street instance. The downside is that it is a rare drop, and requires your character to have top tier resists and setup - but the upside is that you get plenty of Morgul Crests, which you can use to craft the regular tier of lvl 105 Essences.

4a. I ran Silent Street t2 a few times last night after the Vampire game, and the party consisted of three Captains (repping each of the three trait trees), a mez-build Burglar, a Runekeeper as healer, and my DPS warden. It was by far the smoothest and easiest run I've ever done of Silent Street t2, hilariously enough. But, still no Hilt yet.

5. Since my Warden is now 80/82 traits maximum due to following this list, I figured someone else may find a Class Trait Point list handy.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Update 20: Battle of the Black Gate release notes:

Spoiler: show
Update 20: Battle of the Black Gate Release Notes

Here are the Release Notes for Update 20, released on Tuesday, March 21st.

Of Special Note:

Journey through The Wastes!

Update 20, The Battle of the Black Gate, features more than ninety quests in three new regions: the Noman-lands, Dagorlad, and the Slag-hills. Discover new adventures beginning in the Camp of the Host.

The Black Gate

Epic Volume IV, Book 8 is now available. Experience the Host of the West’s climactic confrontation with Sauron’s forces at the Battle of the Black Gate, as Aragorn seeks to draw Sauron’s Eye away from his true peril…

Resource Dungeons

Two new dungeons are now available! Explore Carchost, the Towers of the Teeth and Skoironk, the Maggot-holes, each with its own landscape, solo resource instance, and group resource instance.

Prepare the Host of the West for Battle!

Players can acquire supplies, provisions, and armour to prepare the Host of the West for the Battle of the Black Gate! Collect enough items to assist each faction of the Host of the West, and receive unique rewards. Supplies, provisions and armour can be earned through solo and group resource dungeons, Roving Threats, Landscape monsters, and Crafting.

News and Notes:

Classes

Burglar - Using Track Treasure will deactivate an active resource tracking skill and vice versa. Only one type of item may be tracked on the mini-map at a time.
Captian's Reform the Lines skill has received a visual update.
Captain - Elendil's Fortune buff is no longer removed when the Captain is healed.
Captain - Five stacks of Elendil's Fury will now cause your next Blade of Elendil to consistently grant a defeat event.
Captain - Last Stand Heal legacy will now properly increase the Last Stand heal.
Captain - Increased initial value of Defensive Strike Armour Buff legacy.
Champion - Riposte now unlocks on partial parries.
Champion - The Physical Mastery Buff from Battle Frenzy now refreshes reliably.
Guardian - Guardian Follow Through now increases Shield-Smash targets to 8 when fully traited. Follow Through increases Shield-Smash targets by +2 at rank 1, +2 more at rank 2, and +3 more at rank 3.
Hunter - Archers Mark now properly reduces a target's critical defense.
Hunter - The Blood Arrow heal over time duration has been decreased from 20s to 10s without changing the overall magnitude of heal, so each tick is larger.
Lore-master - Enfeeble-modified debuffs should properly account for other sources of debuff strength.
Lore-master - The Fellowship Friend buffs from the Bear and Raven now properly reduce incoming damage.
Lore-master - The Firm Grasp trait now works with the daze effect that Lightning-storm can gain from certain items.
Minstrel - Follow Up now works out of combat.
Rune-keeper - Essence of Storm no longer removes the "Charged" buff which makes Sustaining Bolt free.



Crafting

New crafting recipes for endgame tokens: Two Host of the West recipes have been added to the Anorien crafting tier for each profession (Cook, Jeweller, Metalsmith, Scholar, Tailor, Weaponsmith, and Woodworker). You can also acquire 2 additional recipes per profession via rep barter, and there is a 1-shot recipe that drops for each profession.



Featured Instances

The Featured Instance rotation has been updated. The new Featured Instances are the Lost Temple, Glinghant, Fornost: Wraith of Earth, Seat of the Great Goblin, Sword-hall of Dol Guldur, and Flight to the Lonely Mountain.
Featured Instances can now drop Wastes crit crafting items and reputation token bundles for the Host of the West Quartermasters.



Items

The T2 challenge Throne of the Dread Terror now offers an "Ornate Inlay" which can be bartered to update existing Throne of the Dread Terror equipment.
Skirmish - The price of the Small Reputation Acceleration Tome is being increased to better reflect Mark and Medallion acquisition rates.
Return to Arnach travel skill scroll now properly requires Friend standing with Rangers of Ithilien, not Kindred.
Older and scaling instances received a large scale pass to provide/improve Beorning specific container drops where they were missing or not class appropriate.
Nanu has finally come out of hibernation and started moving again! The turtle's hiding place has been updated.
Dyes - "Dark Purple" and "Deep Purple" were used in different places to refer to the same colour. All references to this colour have been unified to "Dark Purple."
Sigileth's daggers are now appropriately flagged as daggers, not swords, in the wardrobe.
Auction House - Cosmetic Pets - The Aurochs Calf, Stowaway Rat, and Sand Flies cosmetic pet items now properly post to the "Cosmetic Pets" Auction House category.



Pet Collection

Pet Collection has received an overhaul. The UI now displays every pet available in the game. Players can now preview pets, summon pets they own, and drag a pet skill to a quickslot from the Collection UI. The old pet collections and associated titles can now be found under Social Deeds. To complete these Deeds, summon each pet in the Collection.
Two new Pet Collection Deeds are now available: Best Bugs and Fetching Foxes.



Quests and Adventure Areas

Two new Flora repeatable quests for the Wastes have been added. These quests count towards Assisting the Herbalists: North Ithilien, and are bestowed by Arador after completing the Noman-lands quest content. Phials of Golden and Violet extracts can be collected from Flora in the Wastes, and traded for rewards at the Herbalist.
Players with the vector quest "Incubated by the Flaming Deeps" underway (incomplete) will have to re-obtain the quest from the NPC.
You can now perform emotes on the stages in Belfalas premium housing areas.
The Bree Scholar's Hall no longer has a visible exterior.
North Ithilien - Cair Andros: The Captives - fixed Maushlak occasionally not entering combat.
Instance: The Reclamation of Talath Anor - Typo/wrong voice over in instance entry dialogue and background dialogue has been fixed.



UI

Four additional custom Chat Tabs are now available. These tabs can now display across two rows at the top of the Chat Window.
In the Fellowship Mini Panel, fellows buffs and debuffs will no longer disappear after a fellow is defeated.
The accelerator button should no longer appear on the Deed panel for reputation deeds.
Mount skill icons should now all appropriately grey out when the skill cannot be used.
Added a Stable-masters Collection button on the radar.
The Mordor map should now more correctly display fellow member locations.



Miscellaneous

Fixed a display problem that would cause effects icons to jump around and flicker. This should also be a small performance improvement for the client.
The following emotes now have animations: assist, attack, blush, brb, curtsey, drool, fight, grumble, hug, innocent, mumble, pat, ready, resist, rest, stare, stretch, succumb, sweat, tear, wait, & wink. "Nothing" should be the only text-only emote remaining for all races now. The /pat emote chat text has been changed to reflect the new animation. The hug emote will now show hugging self animation.
You will no longer see any mobs above level 105 (until Update 21).
The French and German Mordor maps have been updated.
NPCs standing with crossed arms will no longer show held items.
Beleriand weapon particle effects are now more noticeable.


Additional good news is that the area Camp of the Host's reputation vendors have some very good stuff on offer - including gold-quality 3-slot jewelry. They also have 3-slot level 105 pocket items on offer, which is good if you don't feel like grinding the instance Silent Street on T2 repeatedly.

(For comparison, the Hilt of Earnil pocket item received from the Silent Street T2C offers +255 to will/agility/might and +149 to vitality, whereas the Crest of Gondor offers +355 to will/agility/might, and +632 to Morale. Upgraded with an Ornate Inlay, the Crest of Gondor gives +391 to will/agility/might and +690 to Morale, and the same pattern holds for the other jewelry offered from the Camp of the Host quartermasters.)

The jewelry that the Camp of the Host has on offer can all be upgraded with Ornate Inlay items you receive from completing the Throne raid challenge on T2, as can all the armor you get from the Throne raid. But, you don't have to play the Throne at all to get the basic gold-tier jewelry, which is better even than what you can get from the North Ithilien flower essence vendors. As you can see in the example above for the Crest of Gondor, while the upgraded items are indeed better, the basic versions are excellent all by themselves.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:45 pm 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Downside to the new Host of the West rep vendor stuff.

First, there are three new Reputations you have to at least hit Ally with for blue-quality items, and Kindred for gold-quality: Armorers, Weaponsmiths, and Provisioners. Worse, you can only raise rep for any of these three by crafting stuff, and the two crafting recipes have cooldowns of 16 hours and 6 days, respectively. So... yeah, this is a long-term thing one works on, but to get almost endgame Raid-quality items from them is very tempting.

Armorer have shields available, as well as pocket items.
Weaponsmiths have off-hand weapons available, as well as necklaces.
Provisioners have bracelets and necklaces available.

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- William Gibson


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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:16 pm 
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rhoenix wrote:
Downside to the new Host of the West rep vendor stuff.

First, there are three new Reputations you have to at least hit Ally with for blue-quality items, and Kindred for gold-quality: Armorers, Weaponsmiths, and Provisioners. Worse, you can only raise rep for any of these three by crafting stuff, and the two crafting recipes have cooldowns of 16 hours and 6 days, respectively. So... yeah, this is a long-term thing one works on, but to get almost endgame Raid-quality items from them is very tempting.

Armorer have shields available, as well as pocket items.
Weaponsmiths have off-hand weapons available, as well as necklaces.
Provisioners have bracelets and necklaces available.


Quick update to this part, since it actually isn't anywhere near as onerous a grind as it may sound. You get better recipes for these items as you progress in rep with the main Host of the West faction into Respected and then Celebrated rank, enabling you to clear out each of the three supply rep vendors (Weaponsmiths, Armorers, and Provisioners) much more easily.

Also, a note about essences. You can purchase the one-time use recipes to make them using Long Lost Coins earned from Featured Instances (5 to make a blue, and 15 to make a gold from a blue), which will make an ordinary t8 essence. The Ithilien-Infused essences are more powerful, but take more to make.

Ironically enough, you can make Ithilien-infused essences about as rapidly than you can make the normal t8 essences though. To make a normal t8 gold essence, you need to run the Featured Instance of the week four times total, to earn you the 20 coins you need to trade for recipes from the Featured Instance Vendors.

To make an Ithilien-infused essence, you'll need to do the daily quest in Henneth Anun for the Herbalists, which will earn you 1-2 Ithilien Essence Scraps. Next, run the two instances in The Wastes by the Black Gate - each of them has a lockbox you can pop open using Lockpicks (purchased from the same vendor for gold & violet flower extracts), and each of those give you 1-2 Ithilien Essence Scraps. Since you need a total of 4 to make an Ithilien Essence from them, this is a bare minimum of 3 per day.

So, you're looking at being able to make an Ithilien Essence roughly every 1.5 days. Next, use your crafting skill to make a Wild Ithilien Essence from that Ithilien Essence you got, which you then trade back to the Herb-Master for a blue Ithilien-Infused essence. You can either use that (they're pretty good), or trade it in for a Wisp of Legendary Ithilien Essence: three of those get you a gold Ithilien-Infused essence. Those are monstrously powerful, and well worth the effort.

The Featured Instance jewelry looks good, but I'd actually advise against getting any of it. They cost 35 Long Lost Coins apiece, and you can get and make better jewelry from the Herbalists' jewelry offerings anyway. Moreover, you just have to pick flowers to get them, and it's a hell of a lot faster to pick flowers for an hour than it is to run the Featured Instance seven times in a row, even if its a three-person instance.

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 4:23 am 
The Artist formerly known as Rhoenix
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Addendum to above: you can get further Ithilien Essence Scraps for the Fellowship versions of the quests Skoironk and Tower of Teeth (located in the Slag Hills). However, the primary reason for running the fellowship versions of those quests is to get your hands on Tarnished Gondor Sigils, which are necessary for getting a very good off-hand item for your character. If you use a two-handed item (including if you're a Runekeeper), those offer nothing for you except extra essence scraps.

If you haven't unlocked them as repeatables, you can unlock them by going through the 6-man Lang Rhuven quests (all four tiers of the quest chains there), followed by the group intro quests for both Skoironk and Tower of Teeth. Once all that is done, you can then run the 6-man fellowship versions of those quests.

Like I said though, if you use a two-handed item, you're not going to care about this much, except for getting more essence scraps - which admittedly, the fellowship versions of the quests do give more of (2-4 each, as opposed to 1-2 each).

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- William Gibson


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