Sally Forth in LOTRO – Episode 11

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This episode is a little different in that I primarily just cover the news and my takes on the Echoes of the Dead update.  I should be back on a normal schedule and will get back to my normal news and topic format.  Feel free to let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions for a topic.

Also, during this episode I do reference my interview with Aaron “Rowan” Campbell, so if you haven’t listened to that I suggest you take a listen as I do have a bit of a different take from others.

News:

Echoes of the Dead Update:

Sally Forth in LOTRO – Episode 10

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This was a little bit later then I wanted, but here is Episode 10 focusing on many of the updates coming with Echoes of the Dead.

News:

Topic – UI Customization

 

UI Customization Video

[youtube 0H2UCGQTKXQ]

 

My Week in LOTRO Video

[youtube TZJLXCiDPTU]

 

Interview with LOTRO Producer Aaron “Rowan” Campbell

thaurlach144x144TGN Episode 9 of the podcast is a special episode as I get the chance to talk with Rowan about the Echoes of the Dead update coming next week.  It certainly was a good chat as I was able to get a feel for why Turbine did some of the things they did and there were a number of things that they’re going to check into.

Main topics include:

  • Class revamps
    • Goals and how they impact the DPS to Tank relationship
  • Legendary Items
    • Relic changes
      • New bonuses available
    • New store options including the Scroll of Removal
  • New Instances
    • Switch to quest based
      • Expectation of how long to get the armor sets
    • Rare drops in instances
      • Here’s the link for the items I’m talking about (Under the “new proc heal armor)
    • Difficulty of the instances
    • What people liked from the Rift raid and how that carries forward
  • News on the Anniversary update
  • Server Transfers (question from @wickedpt)

LOTRO End Game Content Developer Diaries

We’ve been asking and waiting for a while now and Turbine has released two different diaries one focused on the instance cluster and the other on the 12-man raid Ost Dunhoth.

TsiengLiu starts off with walking through the new cluster which includes 2 3-mans, 2 6-mans, and the 12 man raid which JWBarry focusses on.

A few main concepts are brought up here:

  • Instances are now Tier 1 (easier then Mirkwood cluster) and Tier 2 (quite hard comparably)
  • New “surprising” reward for the cluster meta-deed
  • Wanted to spread rewards around instances so barter currency only available via instance quest rewards that are only available twice per week.
    • avoid the current Sword Halls vs Dungeons disparity

With this new currency (barter tokens) they’re providing a number of armor sets to choose from.  You essentially have 4 sets to choose from, 2 rare (purple) and 2 incomparable (teal) that mainly differ with the set bonuses.  With these sets, they’re also providing options for obtaining them:

  • Rare set can be purchased with just barter currency
  • Rare set can be purchased with less barter currency in conjunction with a barter token from Tier 1 Raid
  • You can upgrade to the Incomparable piece but trading in your Rare piece, the right tier 2 token, and barter currency
  • Or finally you can straight purchase the Incomparable piece with the Tier 2 token and additional barter currency.

And finally, he does tease us with promises of other cool drops including off-hand weapons, shields, pocket items, and cloaks.  All of which are quite welcome as many are looking for those kinds of rewards for running the instances.

JWBarry talks specifically about the Ost Dunhoth raid and starts off with his focus:

  • Challenging content
  • Remove the arbitrary mechanics

He also sets up the back story behind this instance with us challenging the fifth and final Gaunt-Lord Gortheron who is an expert in all forms of pain including poison, disease, fear, and wound.

Some intriguing stats about the raid:

  • 6 bosses
  • 15 trash fights
  • 2 tiers
  • 6 challenge quests
  • 17 deeds
  • 46 different trash and boss monsters
  • and much more

The instance is broken up into 3 wings with only 2 open at first and requiring the clearance of both of them before proceeding to the third.  The goal of the trash isn’t a time sink but to create challenges and help train for the boss fights.

With regards to the tiers, it sounds similar to the way skirmishes work in that not only is there a difference in mob health, but everything gets harder in Tier 2 including mechanics when you wipe.  Wiping on Tier 1 doesn’t allow any dead mobs to respawn, but if you wipe on Tier 2, unless you kill the entire pull you’ll have to re-fight everything.

Automatic raid markings are also being introduced and from what I’ve seen this is a nice speed addition that just allows you to do things faster yet still maintain the flexibility to do what you wish.

The other big change inside the raid is with regards to class skill cool-downs as they’re going to be reset each time you fight a boss.  Again this will help speed things up for groups as you’ll no longer have to wait 30 minutes in-between attempts.

Finally two new defenses are in place for mobs – anger and bloodlust.  Anger essentially means you need to CC a mob twice as the first time he’ll wipe it.  Also, this anger effect will periodically reset and you’ll see the red-floating shields back up meaning you’ll have to CC him twice again.  Bloodlust is an anti-kiting mechanism such that is a mob can’t attack anyone for a period of time they will get a huge bonus to run speed, attack speed, and damage making it quite painful.

To wrap it up, some interesting stuff for sure and the lure of some very cool looking shinies:

Updated LOTRO Legendary Items on Bullroarer

With all the discussion on this topic, I wanted to check things out on Bullroarer and see how these all play out.  There were a few things I really wanted to check out:

  • How the existing high tier relics works with Melding
  • Items you can now create via this system
  • Items in the Store
  • And finally, what all the new relics look like

First off, one of the notes in the diary was that refining (new term for deconstructing single relics) existing high tier relics will be more valuable and that’s certainly true.  The refining of these relics will result in the following amount of shards:

  • Tier 6 – 192 Shards
  • Existing Tier 7 –> 464 Shards
  • Existing Tier 8 –> 1119 Shards
  • Existing TIer 9 –> 2696 Shards

Now using those shards you can create various items:

  • Relics including one of that tier – 1/2/4/16/39/96 Shards based on the Tier
  • Scroll of Delving (adds 10 levels to LI) – 5,392 Shards
  • Scroll of Empowerment (increase legacy tier) – 6,495 Shards
  • Scroll of Renewal (resets legendary points spend) – 2,696 Shards
  • Stat Legacy Scrolls – 3,356 Shards
  • Level 55/60/65 Legendary Items – 464/2,238/6,495 Shards

Now the other area that has caused most of the controversy is with regards to the store:

  • Scroll of Empowerment – 295 Turbine Points
  • Scroll of Delving – 195 Turbine Points
  • Remove Relics – 175 Turbine Points
  • Stat Legacies – 195 Turbine Points
  • Relics
    • Tier 1 – 55 Turbine Points
    • Tier 2 – 125 Turbine Points
    • Tier 3 – 165 Turbine Points
    • Tier 4 – 275 Turbine Points

One big difference here is that these are ALL Bind to ACCOUNT items such that you can’t trade or sell them.  My main concern here is the massive difference between these costs and those of the Shards and Skirmish marks, these seem VERY low to me.  But they are BoA so perhaps that’s part of the reason they’re cheaper.  I personally won’t be using these from the store, but I don’t think its terrible to have them there for folks who do want to buy them.  However, I really want the Scroll of Removal as part of the existing barter options like the rest of the items.

And now for the bread and butter of the changes, all the new relic options:

New Tier 6 Stats:

  • Setting of Clear Thought – +20 Will, +780 Tactical Offence
  • Setting of the Abyssal Depths – +20 Might, +780 Melee Offence
  • Setting of Precision – +200 Morale, +780 Ranged Offence
  • Setting of Grace – +200 Power, +780 Outgoing Healing
  • Gem of Crags – +20 Vit, +520 Melee Crit
  • Gem of Precise Eye – +20 Agi, +520 Ranged Crit
  • Gem of Lore – +20 fate, +520 Tactical Crit
  • Rune of Fortress – +1040 Incoming Healing, +520 Block
  • Rune of Readiness – +114 ICPR, +520 Parry
  • Rune of Sun – +114 ICPR, +520 Evade

New Top Tier Unique Relics:

  • Setting of Stability – -5% Item Wear, +260 BPE, +1300 Incoming Healing
  • Setting of Beginnings – +650 Melee Defence, +114 ICPR, +20 Vit
  • Setting of Ending – +7.5% Dev, +520 All Crit, +114 ICMR
  • Gem of Earth – +10% Partial Block/Parry, +520 Block, +200 Morale
  • Gem of Charity – +650 Tactical Defence, +780 Outgoing Healing, +200 Power
  • Gem of Hope – +260 Critical Def, +520 evade, +20 might
  • Rune of Courage – +10% Partial Parry/Evade, +20 agi, +520 Parry
  • Rune of Power – +650 Ranged Def, +520 All Crit, +20 fate
  • Rune of Wisdom – -2.5% Attack Duration, +780 resists, +20 will

What does all this mean?  There’s a ton of new options and in looking at them as a whole, it looks like we’re replacing pure stats (vit, agi, might, morale, power) for things like resists, defenses, and other previously thought to be secondary stats.  In looking at the new armor sets, these are all getting huge boosts to the core stats so I don’t believe we’ll need to use our relics to get those up to the levels where we want them.  This should allow us to create not only more well rounded characters but more customized ones as well.  If you look at many of these stats, they’re very hard to find on current gear, so this really gives us a chance to fill out various other stats that are much harder to cap.  Now of course, the flipside is that there are drops to various stats from the previous higher tier relics so many (I can certainly see this) see these changes as a nerf.  However, I’m holding off until I can see how all these relic settings fit in with the new gear as I’m comparing those as a complete set and not individually.

Overall, I’m happy with that caveat that I’m giving Turbine some leeway here as none of us have really seen all of the new content and how we need to equip/build our characters going forward.  But I can really see how many are not happy with the new changes, I’m just more optimistic.

Oh, and remember these are all still beta so things may change :)

Armor sets for LOTRO Echoes of the Dead Updated

I haven’t finished them completely but wanted to get a quick update of the new set stats.  Some nice boosts for sure, and interesting set bonuses.  Of interest to note that each of the sets now has 2 options with identical stats but slightly different set bonuses.  These are much better then before, but I’m still not sure I’m 100% happy.

LOTRO Barterers updated with Enedwaith

I’ve used Chordian’s site for a while now for the various barter items in Moria, Lorien, and Mirkwood, but they just released an update to include the various barterers within Enedwaith.  They’ve also done a lot of work on the site overall to keep up to date and make the interface as easy to use as possible.

If you guys haven’t checked out this site, I highly recommend it as they show an overall map view of the zone, a detail of the camp selected, a picture of the selected vendor, and a full listing of the items with pictures of all of them!

ChordianSnap

LOTRO Monster Play Developer Diary

Jared Pruett joins us for a diary on the new changes coming with the Echoes of the Dead Update to the Monster Play (PvMP) system.

Two big new changes coming on the side of the free players with a new armor set comparable to the new instance rewards and insignias which are new runics.  The idea is to create rewards that are attractive to freeps and give them the incentive to come out and join in the combat.  Of note, all these effects stack such that the armor sets, insignias, and any trait bonuses all can combine for maximum utility.  For each class, obtaining 2 items in the armor set is a 10% bonus to the renown obtaining from kills in the Ettenmoors.  The other bonuses are as follows:

  • Burglar
    • 4 piece – +2 Stealth, 30% chance Subtle Stab applies a –50% incoming healing debuff for 10 seconds
    • 6 piece – Hide in Plain Site (HiPS) now removes all poison, disease, fear, and wound effects
    • Insignia – 10% chance Subtle Stab applies a –50% incoming healing debuff for 10 seconds
  • Captain
    • 4 piece – +10% Make Haste Duration
    • 6 piece – 30% chance Battle Shout applies a 10 second fear
    • Insignia – 10% chance Battle Shout applies a 10 second fear
  • Champion
    • 4 piece – -25% True Heroics cooldown
    • 6 piece – 30% chance Brutal Strikes removes fervour cost of next Ferocious Strikes
    • Insignia – 10% chance Brutal Strikes removes fervour cost of next Ferocious Strikes
  • Guardian
    • 4 piece – -10% Stagger Movement Speed debuff
    • 6 piece – 40% chance To the King initiates a parry response
    • Insignia – 15% chance To the King initiates a parry response
  • Hunter
    • 4 piece – +3 Stealth Detection
    • 6 piece – 30% chance Low Cut removes all slows and roots
    • Insignia – 15% chance Low Cut removes all slows and roots
  • Lore-Master
    • 4 piece – 20% chance Lightning Storm applies a 10 second Daze
    • 6 piece – upon pet critical hit, Lore-Master receives 10 second window to cast one skill with zero induction
    • Insignia – 15% chance Lightning Storm applies a 10 second Daze
  • Minstrel
    • 4 piece – Song of Soothing applies a 15% incoming healing debuff to all targets in a 10 meter radius
    • 6 piece – Still as Death removes all poison, disease, fear, and wound effects with a bonus to in-combat morale and power regenerations
    • Insignia – Song of Soothing applies a 10% incoming healing debuff to all targets in a 10 meter radius
  • Rune-Keeper
    • 4 piece – +3 Essence of Winter maximum targets
    • 6 piece – 20% chance Ceaseless Argument applies a 20% movement speed debuff for 10 seconds
    • Insignia – 10% chance Ceaseless Argument applies a 20% movement speed debuff for 10 seconds
  • Warden
    • 4 piece – +10 seconds to Careful Step Duration
    • 6 piece – 50% chance Boar’s Rush applies a 5 second daze
    • Insignia – 25% chance Boar’s Rush applies a 5 second daze

In addition to the changes on the freep side, creeps did get some love in this diary as well.  These are in 4 main areas:

  • New introduction Tutorial
  • Gramsfoot Revisions
  • Class updates across the board to make creeps more survivable starting at rank zero
  • Individual boost to all the creep classes.

Pretty nice changes across the board for the system, but I’ve only played freep side so make sure to check out entire diary and chime in on the discussion thread, if there are specific things you’re looking for.

LOTRO Echoes of the Dead New Armor Stats

With the new patch to Bullroarer, I’ve updated my spreadsheets for the new sets available.  I’m not confident these will be the final stats, but something to take a look at for those of you who are interested.

I’m still working on a way to compare the individual pieces and do better set comparisons (i.e. is it better to wear 2 Annuminas, 2 Helegrod, and 2 Tier 2 raid set pieces) so for now I’m just going to post the spreadsheet as is and tweak later.  Once I have it all pulled together, I will put it on the proper page and include all the new screenshots once they’re official too.

As with the other sets, I just have the Captain, Champion, Minstrel, and Warden but have included the 2 new raid sets and the new PvP set.

[iframe https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AnW8NeYfZoKpdHV4c3I1SW1ST0VPOUFEajlIS3BDSWc&hl=en&output=html]

It is hard to see everything in the small frame, so this link to the google doc might work better.

Sally Forth in LOTRO – Episode 4

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I admit my distraction up front, but did get in some pretty solid LOTRO time this past week.

[youtube Hz60tv9jS6A]