Saturday, August 25, 2007

"It's all about the Challenges!"

. . . sorry about the title, I was having a pokemon diamond and pearl moment. BUT, it is applicable. The past couple of weeks in LOTRO have been all about exploring ettenmores, which is the PVP zone in the game. Now, this is a complete zone that is isolated from the world. It has it's own quests and challenges built into it. Even the random monsters in the world choose sides.
For the most part, I'm one of those that avoids the groups and raids forming to take on the Creeps. I'm more interested in the random encounter with a creep and earning tokens for loot (see post below). I'm already half way to 25 tokens. I've been on a serious drive for these.
First, I'm happy to announce my first kill in pvp! This spider had the audacity to perch himself on a hill in the middle of the hobbit town. Sleeper . . . this bug was worth 89 renown, which I understand is pretty nice. I don't fully understand that system yet. All I know is, I got him and it was fun.

Secondly, I finally figured out this quest. I was looking everywhere for this stump.

The Wolves of Grimwood quest asks you to gather 10 wolf talons (do wolves have talons? I thought that was a bird thing?) and put them on this stump. After waiting a couple minutes (seems like forever), these wolves totally storm the camp. RAWR!

I sat from a distance and watched . . . they will agro on you . . . thank goodness for feign death.

It's pretty fun to watch them clear out the orcs . . . it'd be a great strategy for taking this camp. to help you clear out the trash mobs.

Third, Since kicking up this PvP thing, I've also had the thrill of running for my life and living. YaY. Here's the story as told to one of my good friends in game.

Blogspot just doesn't seem to like the graphics I load up. Anyway . . . post incoming in a bit after I do the 25 token turn in. woot!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ding 48 and pvp land

I dinged 48 a few days ago. It was rather uneventful as I was simply solo griding against orcs in angmar when it happened. If I really wanted to ding faster I'd hang out in angmar and do a few PUGs, but for now . . . it's just grinding mobs solo waiting for something good to happen within the kinship.

LOTRO released book 10 this week and I'm quite baffled at the size of this free content they gave us. They introduced factioning and a whole new line of story epic quests to complete. Amazing. The new area features a slew of evil dwarves, birds, and caveclaws that are on an insanely quick repop timer. /shiver

on another note, I've been hanging out in the pvp zones lately running a few quests here and there. Much to my joy I finally earned 10 tokens and was able to turn them in for a key to a chest full of loot.

As I wrote to a gamer friend of mine in an e-mail:

". . . last night I achieved my 10th token in Ettenmores. I giggled a bit to myself and turned it in for a key. I stuck the key in the chest and rubbed my greedy hands together in anticipation and hey! Looky there . . . LOOT! ALL FOR ME!

1- A purple 1handed mace with +15 will, +90 power, 28.6 dps, and a slow proc (level 50)
2- A medium armor chest with a bunch of will on it (didn’t examine this much)
3- Coin (I don’t even know how much I got . . . but I think the screenshots captured it)
4- 2 pure morale potions (+650 heal range)
5- 2 pure power potions (+650 heal range)
6- A purple heavy armor chest (bind on equip)
7- A purple 2-handed hammer (bind on equip)

So, I got looking at it and . . . whoa . . . ok, the patch introduced three new chests . . . the 10 tokens turn-in is actually for the lowest chest now. 15 tokens for the medium chest. 25 tokens for the grand-daddy chest."

Here's a screenshot of all the loot! WOOT!

Click me to see good stuff!

Now I have a new goal . . . 25 tokens for the grand-daddy chest!!!!! I will most definitely make a report when that happens.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Functionality Toggling

First off, here's what the folks at Turbine have given Minstrels for instruments:

Superior Lute
Serenade Defense Vital Cost Modifier: -15.0%

Superior Flute
Serenade Utility Vital Cost Modifier: -10.0%

Superior Harp
Serenade Offense Vital Cost Modifier: -10.0%

Superior Drum
+15% Ballad Damage
+10% Ballad Power Cost

Superior Theorbo
Threat Reduction During Combat

Basically the only two that people really use are the superior drum or the superior theorbo. Soloing, you throw on your drum . . . group, you throw on your theorbo. It's our way of toggling our abilities to some extent. Now to the outside observer +15% to damage is nothing to shirk about, but I have to tell you that it's not that big of a boost and the power cost is not that big of a power cost. As for the Theorbo, there's no real way of telling your threat in this game aside from mobs leaving their dance partners for you. Tell you what though, strap on your theorbo and add some lute strings of subtlety and you're not going to attract much attention if your tank is even halfway decent.

I just think that the potential for doing damage as a minstrel is kind of poor. Especially AoE. To get to an AoE spell, a minstrel has to cycle through 3 tiers of songs until they can get to an AoE blast, and even then . . . it's kind of pathetic. The legendary aoe blast (which is also a tier 4 anthem) actually does put out some pretty decent damage . . . the problem is the refresh on this thing is horrible; we're talking 15-20 minutes to refresh here.

I like the idea of functionality toggling. If I'm in a group with 3 healers, I think I'd like the ability to toggle my healing off and turn my damage on and turn it on big time. The introduction of these instruments and the threat reduction string for the instruments is a step in the right direction. I would encourage more of this and encourage the ability to damage dump AOEs more frequently. I don't want to have the best dps in the game . . . but I like the idea of trade-offs for the group or the solo'ers sake. If we have strings of subtlety, can we also get drum heads or drum sticks of amplifiction that would boost my damage and extra 15% and an extra 10% mana cost? Options = good.

Ding 47 and holding

I've stalled here at 47. What I'm noticing is that a lot of the quests are now group based, which means when I fight solo all I really can do is just grind mobs over and over for traits. So, you basically kill 240-480 wargs to get a bonus of 4,000 exp and a title. Fun? meh.

Mr. Weird of the Worms to you

It is kind of cool to open up the rare names like "Weird of the worms," which is what you get for killing fire worms in angmar . . . or like "lord of the fangs," which is what you get for killing wargs in angmar. My next target will be orcs and hillmen . . . and then I may go back to worms to get the advanced trait. Let me just say that grinding these solo isn't very fun . . . it's boring . . . but if I want to keep leveling during my weird times of play when groups are scarce, this is what I'll be doing.
Speaking of grind . . . I'm grinding all the page dropping mobs as well . . . they're so pretty.

I swear this Morroval is trying to get me to look down her shirt.

Because I've stalled here, I've also been pulling my champion alt out of the closet and dusted him off a bit . . . you minstrels out there that haven't ever played a champion . . . man, you should see the nastiness of aoe killing on low level green-con mobs. I may have to make a video of it just because it impressed me so much.

I lived through this and maintained my no deaths title on my level 16 champ