Archive for October, 2011

Fervant Fervour User

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming, Skirmishes on October 28, 2011 by koljarn

Just for grins, I have respecced both my class traits and my weapon legacies to a Fervour-heavy build (with a few Ardour legacies remaining, just in case).

Red Traits:
Vicious Strikes
Deadly Strikes
Flurry of Blows

Yellow Traits:
Swift to Anger
Winds of the Storm
Stalwart Blade

Very much like my pre-ROI build; single target damage with a touch of AoE. I loved the Ardour build, but too many quests and skirmish events require you to take out a single tough enemy. The Ardour build is probably better for grouping, though, as I rarely grabbed agro.

My weapon legacies were similarly adjusted:
Major weapon:
+ Wild Attack damage
+ Remorseless strikes damage
+ Crit magnitude
Minor weapon:
– Fear Nothing Cooldown
+ Sudden Defence Duration
+ Horn Damage

The level 65 rune I use is still better than the level 75 ones available. I adjusted it to:
Major class item:
-% Blades Power cost
-% Power Cost for Swift Strike
– Ardour/Glory Pip Interval
Minor class item:
-% Strikes Power cost
+ Ardour/Glory in-Combat Power Regen
– Heroics cooldown

Skirmishing with this Fervour build seems to work at least as well as the Ardour one. The fact that I’m still decked out in level 65 armor is an issue, but that will change over time. While I may miss dishing out the AoE spam, there’s something to be said for devastating a mob with a combined 3k+ Remorseless Strike.




Crashes and Festivals

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming on October 24, 2011 by koljarn

My Kindred got together and had a little gate crashing party at Isengard. Actually, it was a lot of fun, like a raid-sized skirmish. Ultimately, our superb healers carried the day and allowed us under-geared folks to take out the two War Trolls and claim the title of Gatecrasher.

In other news, the Fall Festival has been going since last Wednesday.  I rather like the Fall Festival, it’s a casual event where you can pick and choose your activities and still get enough tokens to buy whatever you like. Even better, from Burhhelm’s perspective, the Inn League lets you drink yourself into a stupor for free! As you may note in the screenshot above, Burhhelm is in the land of the short and hairy-footed.  Given enough alcohol, he can even tolerate Hobbits.

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming, Skirmishes on October 17, 2011 by koljarn

Finally, Burhhelm has maxxed his reputation with the Riders of Theodred. With the Pit of Iron hopelessly bugged at the moment (you fall through the floors to your death), you have to do tasks and daily repeatable quests in Isengard in order to fill out the last level of reputation with the Riders. I’ll pull no punches with this statement: these quests suck.

Specifically, finding the mobs that you need to kill sucks.  Additionally, some of these mobs have extremely healthy morale totals and throw extremely unhealthy debuffs on you – not a big deal, if you do these quests with at least one other person (I duo’d these with a friend who plays a Guardian), but doing these solo will be slow going.  My hints for dealing with these issues: first, keep yourself fully stocked with wound (red) potions at all times. Second, you need to sweep entire ares of all mobs (except for the wandering war trolls) and return in a minute or two to check out the respawn. That’s the way that we forced the annoying Apprentices of Sauruman to appear.  Cherry-picking individual Apprentices will get you one or two kills, but clearing an area of all mobs is the best way to get more. Oh, and I mentioned the war trolls already – stay off of the roads, and look both ways before crossing them.  Seriously.  Unless you’re in a large group, these trolls will flatten you.

Don’t forget to turn in the tasks for scabbards and shields in Forthbrond – the orcs you kill will drop heaps of these.  The extra reputation you earn through tasks will mean less hunting for Apprentices.

I didn’t mind the reputation quests in Enedwaith – there were lots of them, allowing you to vary your routine and choose what quests you enjoyed the most. There are only four repeatable quests in Isengard.  You’ll end up doing the same four again and again, and it gets to be taxing. This seems to be the major flaw in the Rise of Isengard expansion – the endgame is nothing but repetition. 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to repeat the same skirmishes again and again in order to collect Superior Fourth Marks. Did I mention that the expansion involved a great deal of repetition?

At the Cap and Still Going

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming on October 11, 2011 by koljarn

Over the long weekend, Burhhelm managed to claw his way to level 75. I know that many people have complained about not enough quests to make it all the way to the level cap, but I hadn’t found that to be the case.  I did, however, find that the quests that did exist had little overlap, and things were more obviously linear than usual.  They need to add a few quests in the 73-75 range, just to spice things up a bit. Still, it was enough to get there, so I had to allow Burhhelm a moment of celebration.

Burhhelm has a good yell after making it to 75

There, now that he’s done gloating…. Some other issues with the expansion and being at the level cap.  First, the epic quest line just leaves you hanging. While it was satisfying enough to throttle a few traitors, it feels as if a few months more of writing and development were needed to make this expansion stand out. It’s like listening to an orchestra play music and reach towards a crescendo, and stop just short of getting there. It’s a bit frustrating, but at least it’s mostly free of bugs.  Mostly.  The Pit of Iron is notoriously bugged, and Turbine is well aware of it.  Hopefully, this will be remedied in the future so that people can explore it. Finally, at 75 you begin the same old legendary item grind.  That’s really getting old – I wish Turbine would write a quest so that you could upgrade your existing legendary items rather than simply destroy them and start again – after all, they are supposed to be legendary.  There’s no great legends behind swords that were used for a short time and melted down to be re-used. I want to wield Anduril, Sting, Anglachel, or Guthwine, not a weapon made from pieces of other random items.

So, I suppose it’s off to skirmish for a month or two in order to earn enough marks to upgrade my new legendary sword and my armour. See you in the Galtrev skirmish camp.

Halfway There

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming on October 8, 2011 by koljarn

Burhhelm has been steaming right along at a steady pace through the Rise of Isengard content, and he has just reached the first camp of the Riders of Rohan. I’m in no rush to hit the level cap, but it will happen soon, anyway – I’m playing this for the quests, and there are so many that I can’t help but level up.  I understand that the number of quests was a problem to some of the players, but I happen to have skirmished for a week before digging into the expansion itself.  Perhaps I inadvertently gave myself a buffer, as I went into it at level 67.

The writers worked very hard at trying to make the Dunlendings more sympathetic.  As presented in the Lord of the Rings books, all we knew was that they had a history of conflict with the Rohirrim, and were linked in some way to the Oath Breakers.  Turbine successfully makes them the lesser evil, compared to Saruman.  Still, I’m more than a little ready to meet the Riders.

Oh, and the highlight of the expansion so far? Slaying Bugan Hobbits.


How do you like THIS pie?

Weekend Post-Mortem

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming on October 3, 2011 by koljarn

I’ll be the first to admit it – I was getting tired of waiting.  Thus, when one of my friends suggested that I head into Dunland to try out the new zone over the weekend rather than wait for Monday, I didn’t resist too much.

The new zones are still populated pretty heavily, but many folks have moved on from the two areas where you can start your journey into the expansion.  You get asked to chose one path into Dunland to begin with – my advice is to try whatever sounds good to you, as you can get quests in the other area when you complete your first choice.  It sounds like a mechanic for splitting the player population between two mini-zones, and it’s a good idea.  Story-wise, I found the Bonevales storyline to mesh a little better with the existing Enedwaith content, but the Trum Dreng quests are quite fun on their own.

I finished my weekend in Galtrev, the regional banking and crafting hub.  Imagine the Twenty-First Hall on one of it’s more crowded days, and that’s Galtrev.  Even with dynamic layers, the place lags like a dog.  On top of that, there are a bunch of quests in Galtrev that you need to do in order to advance the story. Of course, where there are lots of people, there are always a few jerks hiding in the crowd – be prepared to put a few on Ignore, just to save yourself from the rudeness and the chat spam.  Business as usual.

Burhhelm is getting close to level 70.  Skirmishing gives good experience, but the rapid fire chain of quests in Dunland give even large blocks of experience.  On top of the quests, there are tasks which you will inevitably complete, because they entail collecting items from mobs that you will have to go after anyway.  As I level up, I’ve found that Burhhelm’s level 65 gear (Annuminas armour and a crafted 2nd age legendary) is starting to get long in the tooth, but it is still better than the crafted stuff available at level 70 or any of the quest rewards I’ve run across so far.  I’m keeping my eyes open for any upgrades, though.