News from Turbine

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This week a few new exciting things have taken place. 

  • Executive Producer Kate Paiz spoke about the Riders of Rohan delay. You can see the entire announcement here.
  • Developer  Erika has released her latest Warden changes in hew new developer diary.
  • LotRO has been nominated for a golden joystick award in the  MMO Category. To find out more about what the award is, and if you wish to vote click here.
  • And last but not least. The Summer Festival.  Show off your skills, or go enjoy the games.
  • To see more about the festival and the content it contains, check it out.

 

Sally Forth in LORTO – Episode 13

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This episode is pretty heavily focused on the news as there’s just been a ton of it lately.  Also, please feel free to let me know if there are any topics of specific interest and I’ll try to get those covered.

News:

Topic – Legendary Item Experience

  • Forum Thread I mention
  • Viable IXP Options
    • Skirmishes
    • Esteldin Bounties
    • Dolven View Instances
    • Crafting Instances
    • Lorien Dailies
    • Mirkwood
    • Enedwaith
    • Nar’s Peak

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:

New LOTRO Legendary Relic Options

With the Echoes of the Dead update, Turbine revamped all the Legendary Item Relics and provided a whole host of new options.  I’ve been going through trying to figure out which are best for my classes as thought I’d share my thoughts on it.  In this, I’m making one key assumption that you’re not considering any of the old relics.  Now I will admit, I did save some of my old tier 9s but for the sake of the post I’ll ignore those.

First up, all the options available (I’m just going to show the Tier 6 and Extraordinary ones):

  • Tier 6
    • Gold Setting of Clear Thought
      • +22 Will, +650 Offense Ratings
    • Gold Setting of the Abyssal Depths
      • +22 Might, +650 Offense Ratings
    • Gold Setting of Precision
      • +230 Morale, +650 Offense Ratings
    • Gold Setting of Grace
      • +210 Power, +780 Outgoing Healing
    • Adamant Gem of the Crags
      • +22 Vitality, +520 Crit Ratings
    • Adamant Gem of the Precise Eye
      • +22 Agility, +520 Crit Ratings
    • Adamant Gem of Lore
      • +22 Fate, +520 Crit Ratings
    • Subtle Rune of the Fortress
      • +1040 Incoming Healing, +520 Block
    • Subtle Rune of Readiness
      • +114 ICMR, +520 Parry
    • Subtle Rune of the Sun
      • +114 ICPR, +520 Evade
  • Extraordinary
    • Extraordinary Setting of Stability
      • -5% Item Wear, +260 BPE, +1300 Incoming Healing
    • Extraordinary Setting of Beginnings
      • +650 Melee Defense, +114 ICPR, +22 Vitality
    • Extraordinary Setting of Endings
      • +7.5% Dev. Mag., +520 All Crits, +114 ICMR
    • Extraordinary Gem of Faith
      • +10% Partial Parry/Block Mitigation, +520 Block, +22 Might
    • Extraordinary Gem of Charity
      • +640 Tactical Defense, +780 Outgoing Healing, +210 Power
    • Extraordinary Gem of Hope
      • +260 Crit Defense, +230 Morale, +210 Power
    • Extraordinary Rune of Courage
      • +10% Partial Evade/Parry Mitigation, +22 Agi, +520 Parry
    • Extraordinary Rune of Power
      • +650 Ranged Defense, +520 Offensive Ratings, +22 Fate
    • Extraordinary Rune of Wisdom
      • -2.5% Attack Duration, +520 Evade, +22 Will

The Tier 6s are obtained just like the rest of the relics, but the Extraordinary ones are obtained through the new Melding system by combining specific Tier 6s and shards to make a new relic.  It is a bit overwhelming at first, but play around with it a bit and it makes more sense – also to note when melding, you are given a choice of which relics to use so you don’t have to worry about it the game picking the wrong one (just yourself picking the wrong one).

One thing I really like is the flexibility in that things like ICPR and incoming healing are available in multiple slots, and there are many other buffs that were previously very rare like partial mitigations.

To talk about these, I’m going to break up in terms of the main classes I play and best understand.

Warden (Tank)

Setting – Extraordinary Setting of Stability and/or Beginnings seems pretty clear cut here and I will most likely use one of each.

Gem – Extraordinary Gem of Hope and/or Faith.  I’m a big fan of the Hope gem on my Warden as crits are pretty rough for them and since there’s no cap on partials Faith is also very nice.

Rune – This one’s a bit trickier as there are a number of situational ones.  Fortress is nice if you’re not capped on either of those stats, Sun is nice for the ICPR, and Courage is quite nice for the Partials and parry boost as it is the rarest of mitigation bonuses.

Captain

Setting – I’m all over the place on this one as it mainly depends on how you play.  I’m going for more of a hybrid Captain and not necessarily focused purely on healing so I may not be the best guide for everyone.  Pretty much all the Tier 6s are nice depending on what you’re trying to build up or lacking.  I would probably lean more towards the Beginnings or Ending Extraordinary Settings as Captains shouldn’t worry about block and for me incoming healing and item wear are secondary worries.

Gem – I like all the Tier 6 Gems as criticals for Captains are great for healing and damage (defeat responses).  Charity to me seems like a great Healing Captain Gem with Hope being nice for a more well-rounded build.

Rune – Sun and Readiness are nice from the Tier 6s as regeneration and mitigations are always nice.  For me, the Wisdom rune is intriguing to get more damage output but Courage is probably better for a defensive build.

Minstrel (Tactical Classes)

Setting – this will really vary if you’re playing a DPS or healing spec.  For healing I think Grace is the clear cut best but many are nice if you’re running more of a DPS build.  This will be a bit tricky for me and I’m probably going to put the appropriate setting on the healing/dps items as appropriate.  Running a War-speech minnie, Beginnings is quite appealing as are all the crit/offensive boosting ones.

Gem – Charity is probably the best healing Gem with the others being situationally viable for DPS specs.

Rune – Sun and Power are probably the best options regardless of the spec.

DPS Classes (Hunter/Champion) (I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a bit here)

Setting – Precision or Endings are probably the best for damage, but others might be helpful if you worry about being a bit less squishy.

Gem – Any of the Tier 6s for pure offense or Hope to help mitigate the nasty one-shot attacks.

Rune – Sun for the ICPR (if an issue), Courage for Defensive buffs, Power for damage, and Wisdom for attack speed.

Based on all these options, yes there may be a bit of a step back from previous tier 9 relics but even with those I’m still slotting the new ones in place of the old ones.

Turbine Continues to Update Echoes of the Dead

Another patch has hit Bullroarer for the upcoming Echoes of the Dead update, and I must say I’m surprised as this seems to be the most patched update ever to come to Bullroarer.

Remember, anything that says “BULLROARER ONLY” just means it is a tweak or change to something that’s only seen on Bullroarer and will never appear on the Live clients.

Lots of little tweaks and fixes but a couple that jumped out at me:

  • Quite a few class tweaks including a bunch to the Hunters
  • Wardens get their class set bonuses tweaked on the armor sets
    • Increased Threat to Javelin attacks
    • Buff to Critical Defenses
  • Moors updates
  • And quite a bit of tweaking on the Relics
    • Settings now raise ranged, tactical, and melee damage instead of just one
    • gems now raise ranged, tactical, and melee crits instead of just one
    • Extraordinary Gem of Hope now raises critical defense, power, and morale

Some good stuff here with the Warden and Relic changes really showing that Turbine is still listening to their players!

Check out the full patch notes as they’re not that long but possibly some cool things that I’m overlooking.

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.

LOTRO Store Updates for Week ending February 3rd, 2011

I’m trying to reduce the amount of posts on the Store and lump them together in one post per week.

First up is the Turbine Tuesday item for today (2/1), which is the Warden Class 50% at 398 Turbine Points.  Certainly I’m biased on this one since it is my favorite class but I honestly don’t know how good a deal it is for folks.  My suggestion would be to seriously look at how much the Moria expansion is since it includes so much of the game including the Warden and the Runekeeper.

Items on sale this week ending February 3rd are:

  • 20% off Character Slots – 476 Turbine Points
  • 20% off Angmar Quest Pack – 636 Turbine Points
  • 20% off Map to Aughaire (quest hub in Angmar) – 40-180 Turbine Points
  • 20% off Rune-keeper – 636 Turbine Points
  • 20% off Writs of Special Passage – 40-600 Turbine Points
  • 20% off Trait Slots – 76-156 Turbine Points

One that I’ll point out is the Writ of Special passage as those are SUPER helpful for doing the epic quest line and especially Volume 1.

And for those of you who missed out on the items from the Yule Festival, they’re coming to the store next week from 2/4 until 2/17.  Pretty much all the items you could’ve bartered for during the event are going to be available for the limited time window.

LOTRO Podcast Appearance

If folks are looking for another way to learn about how I play the Warden class or just about my style in general, head over to  the Dunedain podcast as I recently chatted with them about the class and a number of other topics.  We did manage to cover quite a few areas as well as some great questions regarding specifics on the class so head over and take a listen if you’re in to podcasts.